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Bangalore: Kumaraswamy Refuses to Resign, Rebuffs BJP

Bangalore: Kumaraswamy Refuses to Resign, Rebuffs BJP


  • BJP declines to comment on the defiant stand, decides to bid for more time.

Bangalore, Oct 2: Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy refused to resign Tuesday as sought by his coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) so as to pave the way for the transfer of power Wednesday.

Rejecting the BJP deadline, Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) told reporters he had not received any communication from the ally seeking his resignation by Tuesday and transferring power to his deputy B S Yediyurappa of BJP.

'I have not received any communique from the BJP that I should resign today (Tuesday) and pave the way for the transfer of power. The BJP has conveyed its stand only through the media and not directly to me,' Kumaraswamy told reporters at a Gandhi Jayanti function here.

Earlier, JD-S state unit president Merajuddin Patel also rejected BJP's ultimatum and ruled out Kumaraswamy stepping down Tuesday.

'Kumaraswamy will not resign. We have already authorized our supremo H D Deve Gowda to decide on the power transfer. He has convened the state executive meeting Oct 4 here and the political affairs committee meeting Oct 5 in Delhi to take the final decision on the issue,' Patel told reporters at the party office.

"Will you, or won't you?"

The BJP, however, declined to comment on the defiant stand of the JD-S and decided to bid for more time.

'We will decide our next move at a meeting convened late Tuesday. We made our stand clear late Monday. We will wait for Kumaraswamy's response till Wednesday and chalk out our next course of action,' Yediyurappa told reporters at his residence.

The JD-S also convened a meeting of its legislators later in the day to discuss the crisis arising out of its ally's demand for power transfer as per the accord reached between the two parties in February 2006. The JD-S is to transfer power to its ally Oct 3 after Kumaraswamy's 20-month term as chief minister.

Earlier report of Tuesday, Oct 2:

Bangalore: State's JD(S)-BJP Coalition Govt in Doldrums

from daijiworld's political correspondent (MB)
With exclusive pics from Akash Poojari Polali
Coordinated by Richie Lasrado

Cartoon by Harini

Bangalore, October 2: The JD(S)-BJP coalition government in Karnataka, led by chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, with B S Yediyurappa as dyCM, appears to be inching towards a deep precipice, after the JD(S) legislators met on Monday night and decided not to transfer power to the BJP on October 3.

On the other hand, the BJP, sensing the JD(S) party's upbeat mood after its convincing statewide supremacy in the local body elections, toughened its stand on insisting on the transfer of power without any strings attached.

Yadiyurappa, the chief-minister-in-waiting

BJP's national vice president and central observer Yashwant Sinha, addressed a media meet on Monday night and pointed out the three main 'pillars of the agreement' - namely, one, B S Yediyurappa was the unquestioned leader of the legislative party and hence the only contender for the CM post, two, the agreed date of transfer of power was October 3 and, three, the portfolios would be exchanged between the two parties.

MP Ananth Kumar, state BJP chief Sadananda Gowda, Yashwant Sinha, minister Shankaramurthy and Yediyurappa

Interestingly, the JD(S) has put forward some tough conditions for the transferring of power.

1. It would not agree on Yediyurappa taking over as CM, but, instead, would prefer Jagadish Shettar or K S Eshwarappa to be in the saddle.

2. In addition to the existing quota of ministers, two more to be allotted to JD(S).

3. Home portfolio to be retained by the JD(S).

4. BJP should come out of the sphere of influence of Janardhan Reddy and his equally powerful brother Karunakar Reddy and minister Sriramulu from Bellary.

5. A further decision would be taken by the JD(S) only on October 5, while the legislators have given full powers to party supremo and former PM Deve Gowda to take any suitable decision which will be final and binding on the entire party.

Heated discussion at the JD(S) legislators' meeting in the presence of Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy

Yashwant Sinha in his media meet made it categorically clear that there was no question of further negotiations with JD(S) in the matter. He asserted that 'the date, October 3, has been coming for the last 20 months. It did not come suddenly,' and hence expected chief minister H D Kumaraswamy to submit his resignation to the governor by Tuesday evening and also present a letter pledging his support to Yediyurappa as chief minister, in accordance with the agreement arrived at in early February 2006.

The JD(S) legislators, spurred by the party's triumph in the civic body elections, are now in no mood to oblige the BJP with transfer of power.

BJP ministers meet in the presence of Yashwant Sinha

BJP sources told Daijiworld on condition of anonymity that Deve Gowda tried to convince Sinha that in view of the UPA government at the centre going through rough weather and with prospects of early Lok Sabha elections in sight, Kumaraswamy could continue as CM until then so that the elections could be fought together.

The sources further said that although the leaders have been putting up a bold front, they were worried about two likely scenarios.

Firstly, with JD(S) victory in the local body polls in many key areas in the state, it is likely to sweep the polls if immediate elections are declared. Second, if any wrong move is made by BJP or JD(S), the UPA government is likely to ensure that the state government is dismissed on grounds of constitutional breakdown. The present governor, Rameshwar Thakur, is a former Congressman, while his predecessor T N Chaturvedi was a BJP sympathizer. (Chaturvedi was the Comptroller and Auditor General of India when the Bofors expose was at its peak and after his retirement he was made an MP by the BJP, which drew criticism from Congress that it was a reward for his role in bringing out the Bofors scam. A few years ago, he was appointed the governor of Karnataka by the NDA government.)

The beleaguered BJP now appears to harden its stand, lest it should be seen as bending over backwards to appease the JD(S), with the sole intention of retaining power.

In all this ruckus going on, a curious aspect of the episode is being missed. Yashwant Sinha is a former IAS officer from Bihar and he was persuaded by former PM Chandra Shekhar to join politics. After holding high posts in Janata Party and Janata Dal, he later joined BJP. He was close to Shekhar while in power. Similarly, Deve Gowda was active in Shekhar's Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP), while both of them had a common bete noire, the late Ramakrishna Hegde of the undivided Janata Dal.

It is in this backdrop of equations that the BJP's central leadership had deputed Sinha as a troubleshooter to deal with Deve Gowda, said the latter's associate, speaking to Daijiworld.

The coming week will see very interesting developments.
Histrionics of the Kar-"Natak Mandali":

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