PM discusses Karnataka with Cabinet colleagues from state, PC

PM discusses Karnataka with Cabinet colleagues from state, PC

Home Minister P Chidambaram was also present during the 20-minute parleys in which Union Ministers S M Krishna, Mallikarjun Kharge and M Veerappa Moily participated.
While Krishna and Moily are former Chief Ministers of the state, Kharge is a former PCC chief.

The issue of fresh offer by Governor H R Bhardwaj to the Chief Minister to seek a vote of confidence and its acceptance by the latter came up for discussion during the deliberations held soon after the meeting of the Union Cabinet, sources said. The Karnataka issue, however, did not come up at the meeting of the Union Cabinet. Congress appears to be disinclined towards pressing for imposition of Central rule in Karnataka. Party leaders, who have been favouring a spell of President's Rule in the state after yesterday's controversial trust vote in the Assembly, have now started singing a different tune.

The leaders speaking on the condition of anonymity are now insisting that the party will not like to be blamed for any toppling game and feel that the BJP government in the state will fall due to "internal dissensions". A senior leader said that there could also be difficulty in ratifying President's Rule given the fact that UPA does not have majority in the Rajya Sabha and parties like the Left and DMK have reservations on the use of Article 356.

AICC general secretary B K Hariprasad even went to the extent of ruling out the possibility of the Congress forming any alternative government in alliance with Janata Dal-Secular headed by H D Deve Gowda, which has taken the lead against the BJP government in the state.

Congress in Karnataka is divided in two camps -- those who have started their politics from Congress and others who have joined the party from the erstwhile Janata Parivar including the JD-S. The latter is reportedly in favour of a tie-up with JD-S to form an alternative government in the state if the BJP government falls there.

In the morning, AICC General Secretary in-charge for Karnataka Ghulam Nabi Azad and Law Minister M Veerappa Moily met party President Sonia Gandhi to discuss the Karnataka issue.