Top Congress leaders not in hurry to jump gun in Karnataka


New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS): With the crucial bypolls to 15 Karnataka Assembly constituencies set for December 5 and the counting to take place on December 9, hectic political action is underway as the results could cause upheaval in the state where both the Congress and the JD-S are eyeing to topple the BJP government led by Chief Minister B.S. Yedyurappa.

Congress sources say that they are not in a hurry but will wait for the outcome of the results that will decide which way the party will move forward. The party is non-committal at this moment about the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) for if its numbers increase in the Assembly, it will have better bargaining capacity as it is not willing to concede the Chief Minister's chair to the JD-S again.

A senior Congress leader and former General Secretary, who did not wish to be identified, said: "Anything is possible after the results and we should consider rejoining hands with the JD-S for keeping the BJP at bay."

While party leaders from Karnataka are not averse to joining hands with the JD-S -- though the two parties are both contesting against each other in the bypolls -- the party high command is cautious about predicting the state's future political contours ahead of the bypolls.

The Congress has given the reins to former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is not in favour of aligning with the JD-S, so much will depend on how things unfold, a leader said.

State leaders are, however, advocating a Maharashtra-like tie-up. Senior Congress leader V.S. Ugrappa told IANS that they "are open to tie up again with the JD-S if we win majority of seats in the Assembly by-elections, as our sole aim is to keep the BJP out of power as we did in Maharashtra despite ideological differences with the Shiv Sena."

The by-elections were necessitated due to the disqualification of the 14 Congress and 3 JD-S rebel legislators after they resigned from their Assembly seats in July in protest against the functioning of the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led JD-S-Congress coalition government.

Their resignations led to the fall of the 14-month-old coalition government on July 23 as Kumaraswamy failed to win the confidence motion he had moved on July 18.

However, bypolls are only being held in 15 seats as by-elections in two Assembly segments -- Muski (Raichur district) and R.R. Nagar (Bengaluru) -- have been withheld due to litigation in the Karnataka High Court over their results in the May 2018 Assembly elections.

After vote count on December 9, the ruling BJP, which has 105 members including a supporting Independent but excluding the Speaker, needs at least seven seats to have a simple majority of 112 in the 225-member Assembly, whose strength will be 223 due to pending by-elections for two seats.

The Congress, which had 80 members, including former Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar, has 66 after losing 14 members and the JD-S, which had 37, has 34 after losing 3 members. Both the parties have a combined strength of 100 and will need 12 more seats to stake claim for power again in the southern state.

A split verdict in May 2018 Assembly elections threw up a hung house, resulting in the Congress and JD-S finally forming a coalition government on May 23, 2018 as post-poll allies after Yedyurappa, who was sworn-in on May 17, resigned on May 19, without taking the floor test as his three-day government was eight seats short of a majority.

  

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Comment on this article

  • jr, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    BEING A NATIONAL PARTY CONGRESS SHOULD NOT GO LOW BY SUPPORTING LOCAL JD-S WHO DO NOT HAVE HALF OF ITS NUMBERS.

    SECONDLY JOING HANDS WITH COMMUNAL SHIVSENA IN MAHARASHTRA IS A BLACK DOT ON ITS SO CALLED SECULAR CREDENTIALS WHICH NO VOTER READY ACCEPT THEIR STORY TELLING.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Avi, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    Congress, BJP and JDS all crooks. Only option left is "NOTA" and President's rule.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    How many times making and breaking the State government. It's simply waste of time, resources. Moreover, basic things and administrative jobs are simply held up.
    In case things will not settle, its would be better to bring Governors rule in Karnataka.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    Congress delivers all their Promises ...

    DisAgree [16] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • RSRB, Kundapura

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    …. yes, it delivers the promises made to the politicians, at the cost of public

    DisAgree [13] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Satya, Dubai

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    What do you think Modi is spending his own money for
    foreign tour ?
    Building statue ?
    Printing new notes?
    Promoting party ?
    All corrupt politicians same!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dsouza, Mudarangadi /Udupi

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    Congress never help poor these days. Ok, Indira helped that time, no one after....

    DisAgree [3] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dsouza, Mudarangadi /Udupi

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    Congress workers spoiled party by giving false promises to poor voters, by collecting money from poor unemployed by giving false promises of govt jobs, by not providing government facilities to poor voters. Now party suffer because of them. They change to other team.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    Karnataka doesn't trust Backstabbers ...

    DisAgree [9] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Krishna, Udupi

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    its proved in Lokh Saba Election already

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • YOGI THUNTA, MANGALURU - NEAR PUMPWELL CIRCLE

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    Better to settle down in ITALY with due respect to the OLD GHANDHI Family !

    DisAgree [25] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • G R PRABHUJI, MANGALORE

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    Time will tell who has to run. Don't be in a hurry. Citizens and voters are clever. Please remember this.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • G R PRABHUJI, MANGALORE

    Tue, Dec 3 2019

    Time will tell who has to run. Don't be in a hurry. Citizens and voters are clever. Please remember this. Most of the Gujarati s already prepared to run.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse


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