S. Rajendran

Congress hopeful Governor won’ t invite BJP-JD(S) to form government

Governor cannot go back on his October 9 report: Kharge

‘BJP-JD(S) resorting to unethical practices’

BANGALORE: The Congress is confident that Governor Rameshwar Thakur will not permit the formation of a Bharatiya Janata Party-Janata Dal (Secular) Government in the State given the nature of “horse trading” going on.

Several Congress leaders told The Hindu here on Tuesday that the Congress was not unnerved by the political developments of the past three days wherein the Janata Dal (S) had extended support to the BJP and the latter in turn with the support of 129 legislators had staked claim to form a new Government.

“We are confident that they can never form the Government. It will be better for all parties to gear up for elections,” said a senior party leader. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president M. Mallikarjun Kharge has written to the Governor on Tuesday stating why permission should not be given for the creation of another Government.

“As such the Governor cannot go back on the detailed report he has made over to President Pratibha Patil on October 9 suggesting dissolution of the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly has been kept under suspended animation only on technical grounds since Parliament is not in session. As and when the two Houses of Parliament meet, the Karnataka Assembly will be dissolved,” they said.

Mr. Kharge told The Hindu that while a section of the Congress leaders was being accused of attempting to lure legislators, the fact was that the BJP-Janata Dal (S) had indulged in “unethical practices” to retain a grip on their respective party legislators .

“The strength of the M.P. Prakash camp, which was 16 on Monday, dropped to three by the time the legislators were taken to the Raj Bhavan the same evening . How did this happen? And now the Janata Dal (S) is keeping its legislators at another resort on Mysore Road. The Congress cannot be blamed for this since we have not staked a claim to form a Government,” he said.

In the view of the Congress, numerical strength of the legislators alone would not suffice in the prevailing situation wherein political parties keen to form a Government were indulging in exerting pressure on legislators and indulging in “horse trading”.

On its part, the Congress has told the Governor that it had been demanding dissolution of the Legislative Assembly and holding elections right from day one when the Janata Dal (S) decided against handing over charge to the BJP and the latter in turn decided to withdraw support to the H.D. Kumaraswamy Government.

In another development, Congress General secretary in-charge of Karnataka and Union Minister Prithiviraj Chauhan is expected to hold discussions early on Wednesday with the State leaders — Mallikarjun Kharge, Dharam Singh, H.K. Patil, R.V. Deshpande and Siddaramaiah to finalise the next course of action.

In the view of the State Congress leaders, this discussion was expected to be a turning point leading to the dissolution of the 12th Legislative Assembly of Karnataka.

The Congress on Tuesday extended an open invitation to M.P. Prakash to join the party.