S. Rajendran

Yediyurappa rushes to Delhi for consultation with senior BJP leaders; confusion in political circles

  • There is speculation that any change is likely only after UP elections
  • Yediyurappa accepts Deve Gowda's suggestion for combined yatras
  • BANGALORE: There is uncertainty in political circles here with the Janata Dal (Secular) becoming the focus following speculation that a new political alliance is in the offing in Karnataka.

    Officially, the Janata Dal (S) has spiked the rumours and has accused the Congress of floating rumours that they hoped would trigger the downfall of the coalition Government headed by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.

    The Chief Minister told The Hindu that he was committed to the alliance and come October he would hand over the charge to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "The Congress has been after my Government from day one and now I have completed 15 months. I will complete my tenure of 20 months and let there be no doubt about that," he said.

    What appears to have set the alarm bells ringing is the growing strength of the BJP in recent months. The party has expanded its base and support and the recent Budget presented by Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa along with the fortnight-long "Vikasa Yatra" undertaken by the BJP across the State have added to its profile. Sources in all the three major parties said any change would take place only after the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

    The JD (S) stands to be the least affected by the outcome of the election. It has distanced itself from the elections which could possibly lead to the formation of a third front.

    Mr. Yediyurappa, who is in New Delhi for consultation with senior leaders of the party, told The Hindu that he appreciated the suggestion of the former Prime Minister and JD(S) President H.D. Deve Gowda on Sunday that the BJP and the JD (S) leaders should launch a combined tour or "yatra" of the State.

    "I will discuss this at the next coordination committee meeting of the two parties. The BJP and the JD(S) enjoy a cordial relationship and this will be consolidated in the days to come," he said.

    The Deputy Chief Minister, who was on a tour of Dakshina Kannada, rushed to New Delhi on Monday and is expected to return to Bangalore on Tuesday.

    JD(S) sitting pretty

    With an indecisive verdict in the April 2004 Legislative Assembly elections and with the Congress and the BJP occupying two ends of the political spectrum, the JD(S) has been calling the shots in government formation. While it was a Congress (N. Dharam Singh)-led Government in 2004 with the JD(S) as the junior partner, Mr. Kumaraswamy took the lead in forging an alliance with the BJP in January 2006.

    He will hand over power to the BJP in October, according to the coalition understanding. Rumours are rife that the political equation in the State would change ahead of October.

    Any change depends on whether the JD(S) will continue with the BJP or go back to the Congress.

    It was the Chief Minister and his MLA friends who had given the commitment to the BJP that they would hand over the leadership in October and not the JD (S) headed by Mr. Deve Gowda, who aired his initial opposition to allying with the BJP.

    He later gave in to the demands of the party legislators and even revoked their suspension from the primary membership of the party to ensure a smooth run for the coalition Government.

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