Neena Vyas

Yediyurappa's budget leaves JD (S) shaky, say BJP leaders

  • It will soon be BJP's turn to head Karnataka
  • It senses danger of JD (S) aligning with Congress

    NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party- Janata Dal (Secular) understanding is at the State level, not at the national level, senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Wednesday, commenting on reports of differences between the two coalition partners in Karnataka.

    Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister B.C. Yediyurappa was here on Tuesday to talk to his party's central leadership about the crisis. The BJP has asked Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to convene a meeting of the coordination committee set up to sort out coalition problems.

    At a press conference here, Mr. Naidu claimed that the JD (S)-BJP Government was "stable," responding to persistent reports that the JD (S) might seek Congress support and could drop the BJP.

    The BJP senses danger with its senior leaders pointing out that under the power-sharing arrangement, it will be the party's turn to take up Chief Ministership a few months from now. In an effort to retain the position, the JD (S) could tie up with the Congress on the understanding that it would keep the top job.

    Asked whether the JD (S) could change partners, now that it would soon be time for it to give up the chief ministerial position, Mr. Naidu said, "The BJP has done its duty" and expressed the hope that the JD(S) would also do its duty under the coalition arrangement.

    Some BJP leaders say the JD (S) is feeling shaky because the budget presented by Mr. Yediyurappa has become a talking point. It has various never-before offers for farmers in the event of crop failure, a low 4 per cent interest for loans, and a "gift" of Rs. 1 lakh for girls below poverty line families when they reach 18 years, says a party leader.

    Under a BJP programme, the political message of the BJP's action was being carried from town-to-town and village-to-village, another leader said.

    It is being conceded that the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and the BJP's central leadership do not agree on many issues.

    "Our coalition is with Chief Minister Kumaraswamy," a senior BJP leader said.