Congress, JD(S) coalition in BBMP?

Though Bengalureans have never been able to relate to the regional party JD(S), the party has become important player, all of a sudden.

Despite winning just winning in 14 wards, a section of the MLAs in the JD (S) have begun their game to see the possibility of having a say in the administration of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) by joining hands with the Congress.

C M Ibrahim, a confidante of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Bengaluru Urban District In-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy, the three JD(S) MLAs --- B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, Akhanda Sreenivasamurthy and Gopalaiah --- met on Thursday to explore the possibility of having a coalition arrangement in the Palike.

JD(S) MLC Y S V Datta, who is known for his proximity with Siddaramaiah, later sealed the deal with the latter. Datta, who met Siddaramaiah on Friday morning, even conceded to the nature of his talks with the chief minister.

“I only broached the subject with the chief minister, who seemed to agree with what I was saying. Later, Ibrahim called me and told me that he had spoken to our leader H D Deve Gowda, and asked me also have a conversation with him - which I did. Deve Gowda too gave his consent. But the JD(S) is in no haste or greed to enter the (BBMP) council. The BJP has done grave injustice to the people of the City and the State with regard to Mahadayi issue. Hence, we have taken this stand.”

Datta, however, said that the Congress has not sent any official word on this matter and that his party would not take any decision till then.

Later in the day, JD(S) State president H D Kumaraswamy, who held discussions with all the 14 JD(S) corporators and MLAs at UB City, however, said that he had nothing to do with the developments. He told the mediapersons that he had convened the meeting to ensure that all the 14 corporators remained united.

“Owing to the sudden developments, I was reminded of the instance in 2008 when 20 MLAs were poached by the BJP through Operation Lotus. My corporators should not become scapegoats to this.Till now, I haven’t spoken to any leaders of the Congress. Only our City MLAs have met the chief minister, where some politics was discussed.”

He accused the media for having given a verdict that a decision has been arrived, which is not the case. “We will maintain a neutral stand until the Congress reaches out to us officially. Also, whatever decision the 14 corporators and three MLAs take, the same will be communicated to Deve Gowda.”

He also said that the JD(S) and Congress are not going against the people’s mandate by making these efforts. “Unlike the Legislative Assembly, in the BBMP council, the election of the mayor and deputy mayor is also dependent on the non-corporators - MLAs, MLCs and MPs. So how can this be people’s mandate?” he questioned.

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