Staff Correspondent

'The party neglected JD(S) MLAs'

HUBLI: Basavaraj Horatti, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, has blamed the Congress for the political imbroglio in the State.

Addressing presspersons here on Saturday, Mr. Horatti, who has identified himself with the H.D. Kumaraswamy camp, said the "neglect" of the Janata Dal (S) MLAs by Chief Minister N. Dharam and other Congress leaders, attacks on Janata Dal (S) activists, and Congress leaders' failure to keep their promise with regard to power sharing have led to the situation.

Unhappiness

Mr. Horatti said the unhappiness among the Janata Dal (S) MLAs about the functioning of the coalition government was known eight months ago.

At that time, Mr. Kumaraswamy had spoken to Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly B.S. Yediyurappa. But senior leaders had intervened and it was decided to wait for some more time, he added.

He said the Janata Dal (S) MLAs led by Mr. Kumarswamy were forced to take the "extreme" step of entering into an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, as senior leaders of Congress and the All-India Progressive Janata Dal wanted to split the party and form a new government led by the Congress.

Mr. Horatti alleged that the Janata Dal (S) MLAs were being bribed to support the Congress. "It was only when such efforts made by the Congress to destroy the party came to light did Janata Dal (S) MLAs take the decision to support the BJP," he said.

"Nobody wants elections. The alliance with the BJP is the result of a necessity. I don't want to comment on the differences in the ideologies of the two parties," he added.

Taking exception to statements by political leaders, including former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who have alleged that former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda was behind the developments, Mr. Horatti said: "Mr. Deve Gowda is firm that we should not align with the BJP."

That is why the Janata Dal (S) MLAs did not consult him before going to the Raj Bhavan as they knew that he would turn down their appeal."

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