JD(S) keeps BBMP cards close to chest

JD(S) keeps BBMP cards close to chest

Congress leaders might have been exuding confidence on forging an alliance with the JD(S) to take over the reins of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), but the JD(S)’ father-son duo H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy is said to be keeping all options open.

JD(S) MLC T A Saravana, who is close to Gowda, informed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at his official residence Cauvery that Gowda is yet to take the final decision on the alliance.
The party will take a call on September 5 when a meeting of its MLAs, MLCs and corporators-elect has been convened in Bengaluru, he is learnt to have told the chief minister, who is eager for an alliance.

The JD(S), which has won only 14 wards, has emerged kingmaker after the BBMP polls, and its support is crucial for both the Congress and the BJP to come to power in the BBMP.

Gowda, who is currently keeping party corporators in a five-star hotel in Kochi, Kerala, to prevent poaching, has decided not to jump to any conclusion at this juncture.

With the BJP also desperately seeking its support, he wants to use opportunity to drive a hard bargain with the ruling Congress, said JD(S) sources.

The Congress, on its part, is also keeping seven independent corporators-elect, including one from SDPI, at a resort in Alappuzha, Kerala, having been taken there on Saturday by K R Puram MLA B A Basavaraj, a close confidant of Siddaramaiah.

“I took seven independent corporators to sahebru (Chief Minister Siddaramaiah) and he said ‘go ahead with the plan to forge an alliance with the JD(S)’. Senior leaders of both parties have agreed on the alliance and hence I have brought the corporators to Kochi to prevent the BJP from poaching them,” said Basavaraj.

Though second-rung leaders of the Congress and the JD(S) have come to an understanding on sharing power in the BBMP, nothing has been finalised at the top level. JD(S) leaders may come up with certain conditions and demands, besides those related to sharing of power, said the sources.

Saravana told reporters after meeting Siddaramaiah that the chief minister has asked the JD(S) to take a decision in the interest of Bengaluru.


“He sought to know the details of the meeting between BJP leader and Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and Deve Gowda on Saturday. He said he would talk to Deve Gowda if necessary,” he said.

Congress sources said Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy are also under pressure from party MLAs to join hands with the Congress.

The legislators are of the view that the alliance will help them get their work done from the State government.  Sadananda Gowda has told mediapersons on the sidelines of a public function he was confident the JD(S) would extend its support to the BJP.  The BJP has 100 seats and the Congress 76 in the BBMP council.

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