Even as the suspense over the formation of the government in Karnataka continues to build, two Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs are reported to have skipped the ongoing crucial legislative party meet being held at a hotel in Bengaluru. JD(S) MLAs Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagouda have been missing from the meeting, according to ANI report. This comes after party president and Chief Ministerial face HD Kumaraswamy told reporters that Legislature Party meeting was called because his party has decided to join hands with outgoing ruling dispensation Congress. The son of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda has also categorically ruled out any chance of taking any other “decision”.
JD(S) is also learnt to have witnessed dissent within the party ahead of the Karnataka elections. Seven rebel MLAs had resigned from Karnataka legislative assembly on March 24, a day after they cross-voted in favour of the Congress candidates in the Rajya Sabha biennial election in the state. Yesterday’s results show that three out of those seven rebel JD(S) MLAs have managed to retain their seats in the 2018 Karnataka assembly poll with a comfortable margin, according to the Election Commission data.
Congress and JD(S) had met yesterday and outgoing chief minister Siddaramaiah asserted that H D Kumaraswamy would be the chief minister if the JDS-led government supported by the Congress is formed. “We have decided that Kumaraswamy will be the chief minister,” he told reporters after leaders of the two parties met at a hotel. Siddaramaiah said the two parties had the numbers. “We are 117 together,” he added.
However, Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy also dismissed reports that a section of MLAs of their parties was unhappy over their joining hands in government formation. Asked about reports of dissension among some Congress MLAs over the two parties coming together, he dismissed it as “a baseless rumour.”
Kumaraswamy said there was no revolt by MLAs in his party also. Defending the Congress and JDS coming together, he said it had been done to “save secular forces” in the country. On the Congress having described the JDS as the “B team” of the BJP, Kumaraswamy said, “several criticisms will be there during elections.”