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Congress rules out support to JD(S)

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Making a point: KPCC president M. Mallikarjun Kharge (second from right) addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Tuesday.
Making a point: KPCC president M. Mallikarjun Kharge (second from right) addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Tuesday.

T.S. Ranganna and Nagesh Prabhu

Claims of NCP leader Sharad Pawar brokering deal between the two parties dismissed

BANGALORE: The State unit of the Congress is not going to lend support to the Janata Dal (S) to prop up the Government headed by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy if he finally decides to part company with its coalition partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party, highly placed sources in the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee said here on Tuesday.

No indication

Emboldened by the not-so-bad results in the urban local body elections in which the party maintained its first position, winning 1,660 wards, the sources said that the State unit had not received any indication from the high command to support the Kumaraswamy Government. The sources ruled out even the possibility of lending outside support to the Janata Dal (S) in the event of the break-up of the present coalition arrangement.

The sources said that claims made by some persons close to the Chief Minister that he had been told by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar that he would broker a deal between the Janata Dal (S) and the Congress had no basis. The sources further said that Mr. Pawar, who heads the Nationalist Congress Party, had neither told the Congress president Sonia Gandhi nor State Congress leaders of such a possibility.

Mid-term polls

In fact, the sources made it clear that the central leadership had told the State top leadership that it could also go in for a mid-term poll to the Legislative Assembly, if it was prepared for such an eventuality. The sources said that the Congress was contemplating going in for snap polls to the Lok Sabha if there was no change in the stand taken by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and other Left parties on the nuclear deal between India and the U.S.

Asked what the State Congress would do if the high command took a decision to support the Kumaraswamy Government to prevent the BJP from coming to power for the first time in south India, the sources said that even the high command had realised its mistake of aligning with the JD(S) for the first 20 months.

Differences denied

The sources denied that there were differences in the State unit over supporting a JD(S) Government. In fact, there was a consensus on the issue, the sources added.

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