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  India   Politics  16 May 2018  Congress MLAs may be sent to resort to foil poaching

Congress MLAs may be sent to resort to foil poaching

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 16, 2018, 1:45 am IST
Updated : May 16, 2018, 6:24 am IST

Mr Kumaraswamy spoke to reporters and said both the parties would meet the governor and ask him to invite them to form the government.

H.D. Kumaraswamy
 H.D. Kumaraswamy

Bengaluru: JD(S) state chief H.D. Kumaraswamy and outgoing Congress CM Siddaramaiah and possible deputy CM G. Parameshwar met late on Tuesday night to finalise the contours of the coalition dharma amid conflicting reports of poaching of MLAs and horse-trading.

There are reports that some Congress Lingayat MLAs — the community to which BJP mascot B.S. Yeddyurappa belongs — are missing, with speculation rife that they may back Mr Yeddyurappa’s claim for the CM’s post. Meanwhile, the AICC has given the responsibility of ensuring that the newly-elected legislators are not poached to party campaign committee chairman D.K. Shivakumar. The party has decided to hold the legislature party meeting at the party office at 8 am on Wednesday, after which the newly-elected MLAs would likely be taken to Eagleton Resorts on Wednesday.

 

As former Congress president Sonia Gandhi voluntarily extended unconditional support to H.D. Kumaraswamy, the leaders of both parties sat for a discussion on whether the coalition government should have a deputy chief minister or not, and addressed the issue of portfolio allocation. However, the main discussions revolved around the legal recourse that the leaders should adopt if governor Vajubhai Vala did not invite the coalition partners to form  the government.

To begin with, Congress leaders, aware of the bad blood between the JD(S) leader and the Congress CM, advised Mr Kumaraswamy against continuing to hold any bitter feelings against the Congress. The Congress leaders cited the case of Mr Siddaramaiah, who once was a bitter critic of the Congress and later on joined the Congress and became the chief minister. The leaders advised Mr Kumaraswamy to forgive the bitterness created during the campaign and not hold Mr Siddaramaiah’s vow in public rallies seriously, when he said: “I am taking a vow on his father, Mr Kumaraswamy would not become the CM.”

 

Sources said that instead of the BJP poaching their legislators, the Congress and JD(S) were in discussions on how to poach BJP legislators to end any hopes that the BJP had of forming the government. “We will identify the weaklings and make them resign from the BJP,” sources quoted one of these leaders as saying.

Emerging out of the meeting, former CM Siddaramaiah squashed all speculation that five of their winning candidates, all Lingayats said to be upset over BJP chief B.S. Yeddyurappa being denied a chance to become chief minister, were planning to jump ship and join the BJP. “This is far from the truth, it is fiction,” Mr Siddaramaiah said, adding that the Congress was fully backing Mr Kumaraswamy for chief minister.

 

Standing next to each other in a clear show of unity, he also said both the Congress and the JD(S) would meet separately on Tuesday night and pass resolutions to install a JD(S)-led government in the state. After this, the resolutions passed by the two parties would be handed over to the governor.

The governor will once again be requested to follow the recent Supreme Court ruling which said that the single largest party need not be invited to form the government  if a coalition of parties had crossed the halfway mark.

Mr Kumaraswamy spoke to reporters and said both the parties would meet the governor and ask him to invite them to form the government. When asked how he had joined hands with the Congress after saying his party would not join hands with the two national parties and when he was reminded of the bitter criticism made by Mr Siddaramaiah, Mr Kumaraswamy downplayed the bitter exchanges, saying “let bygones be bygones... it is all part of the election campaign”.

 

Tags: h.d. kumaraswamy, siddaramaiah, b s yeddyurappa, congress