BJP says its "betrayal", decides to withdraw support to JD(S)

BJP says its "betrayal", decides to withdraw support to JD(S)
New Delhi, Oct 6 (PTI) Ending an uneasy and often bitter relationship in the last 20 months, the BJP today decided to withdraw support to the H D Kumaraswamy government after the JD(S) refused to transfer power to it in Karnataka which appeared to be heading inexorably towards mid-term poll.

Meeting early in the day after former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda told its President Rajnath Singh that his party would not honour the commitment to transfer power, the BJP Parliamentary Board today decided to withdraw support to Chief Minister Kumaraswamy calling it a "worst-ever betrayal".

Along with this decision, the BJP also made a strong demand for fresh elections in the southern state which appeared a distinct possibility now with the JD(S) also ruling out seeking Congress support for a new innings.

The JD(S) and Congress had shared power in the state under a Congress Chief Minister before it Gowda-led party walked out and joined hands with BJP in January last year.

Under an agreement the JD(S) was to transfer power to BJP on October 3. If that had happened it would have been the first BJP-led government in South India.

The Congress, on the other hand, continued to adopt a cautious approach saying the BJP should first withdraw support before it decides on its course of action.

In the 2004 elections which returned a hung verdict, the BJP emerged the single largest party with 79 members, while Congress got 65 and the JD(S) 58 int he 225-member House.

Briefing reporters after the Parliamentary Board meeting, senior BJP leader Yashwant Singh said since the Rajnath Singh- Gowda did not "lead to any positive results, the Parliamentary Board has decided to withdraw support from the Karnataka government."

"The issue is not just about transfer of power, it is betrayal by a party headed by a former Prime Minister which is doing everything it can not to honour the agreement," Sinha said.

"The JD(S) decision is an insult to the 2004 mandate which was in favour of the BJP and we want fresh elections in Karnataka," Sinha said after the 45-minute meeting attended by central leaders like L K Advani, Rajnath Singh, Yashwant Singh and Sushma Swaraj.

Karnataka BJP Legislature Party leader B S Yediyurappa and party state president Sadananda Gowda were also present.

Sinha said the party was against forming a government by engineering defections and would prefer mid-term polls at the earliest.

Yediyurappa and Gowda have been instructed to meet the state Governor at the earliest and hand over the letter of withdrawal of support and apprise him of the circumstances that compelled the party to take the decision, Sinha said.

He lashed out at the JD(S) and Deve Gowda for "not honouring" the power sharing agreement between the two sides and dubbed it as "betrayal".

Reports from Bangalore said the BJP Legislature Party will meet tomorrow in the morning and afterwhich all the MLAs led by Yediyurappa would march to Raj Bhavan to hand over the letter of withdrawal of support to Governor Rameshwar Thakur.

The collapse of the coalition brings to an end the uneasy relationship between the two sides with JD(S) never appearing to be serious about the commitment to transfer power.

When Kumaraswamy struck a deal with the BJP Gowda initially appeared to suggest that he was not in agreement with what his son did but later virtually steered the government from behind and more so the final stages when the time for transfer neared.

Next Story : Another abrupt end to coalition governments in Karnataka
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