Special Correspondent

Mutual trust between coalition partners has ceased to exist: Chief Minister

BJP leaders hatched a plot to dent my political image, charges Chief Minister

‘BJP did not follow coalition dharma’

BANGALORE: Will the BJP maintain communal harmony in the State if power is transferred to it? This was the question asked by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy at a press conference at his chamber in the Vidhana Soudha here on Thursday.

“What is the guarantee that peace will be maintained during the Datta Jayanthi celebrations in Chikmagalur district in December? The party (BJP) backed by the Sangh Parivar forces will disturb communal harmony” he said. Recently, communal elements set afire to a Tamil Nadu Transport Corporation bus in Bangalore, in which two persons died, which was a clear indication of what would happen if the BJP is allowed to rule the State, he said.

Lashing out at the BJP leaders, Mr. Kumaraswamy alleged that they had hatched a conspiracy to dent his political image by levelling corruption charges and filing an attempt-to-murder complaint against him in a Bellary police station.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said that ever since the Janata Dal (S)-BJP Government was formed 20 months ago, BJP leaders had been levelling corruption charges against his family.

BJP leader G. Janardhan Reddy levelled the Rs. 150-crore bribery charge. He openly said he could purchase the family of Deve Gowda. “It is sure that the senior BJP leaders were behind the conspiracy to taint my image,” the Chief Minister said.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said the Janata Dal (S) was ready to face elections if the situation caused by the campaign at “character assassination” by BJP leaders continued. “We will go to people’s court. I am ready to break my word on power transfer,” he said, hinting at dumping the coalition partner. Criticising the BJP leaders for maintaining silence when the party’s Bellary leaders were targeting the Deve Gowda family, Mr. Kumarawamy asked, “should I hand over power to the BJP whose leaders have vowed to perform the last rites of my family?”

“The mutual trust between the parties had ceased to exist. Power transfer is not a child’s play. The BJP never created a cordial atmosphere for such an exercise to happen,” he added

The Chief Minister questioned the necessity of parleys between Mr. Deve Gowda and BJP vice-president Yashwant Sinha, who is in charge of party’s affairs in Karnataka. The BJP national leaders had played no role in the formation of the coalition arrangement in February last year, he claimed. The BJP had not followed the coalition dharma. The Chief Minister said he had not sought the resignation of BJP Ministers. Mr. Sinha and BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu, MP, called off the negotiations with the Janata Dal (S) without any discussion with him on transfer of power.

Noting that “anything will happen in politics,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said he had not closed the doors on negotiations with the BJP. The coalition partner made public the differences on various issues through the media and spoiled the atmosphere for cordial talks. “I have to take into confidence my party legislators before taking any step on transfer of power to Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.”