Siddaramaiah predicts doomsday for JD(S) as its rebels join Congress

Seven former JD(S) legislators formally joined the Congress here on Sunday even as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah predicted doom for the regional party.

"Both H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy know that the JD(S) will not get more than 25 seats," Siddaramaiah said at a massive rally as part of the Janaarshivada Yatra in his home turf Mysuru.

Former JD(S) MLAs B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, N Cheluvarayaswamy, Bheema Naik, Ramesh Bandisiddegowda, Iqbal Ansari, Akhanda Srinivasamurthy and H C Balakrishna were formally inducted into the Congress by its president Rahul Gandhi amid a rousing response from the crowd. Three former JD(S) MLCs M C Nanaiah, Sarovar Srinivas and B Ramakrishna also joined the Congress.

Siddaramaiah said the seven rebel MLAs had jumped ship to the Congress as "they were fed up of the family politics" within the JD(S).

"The upcoming Assembly election is a choice between the Congress' secularism, BJP's communalism and the JD(S)' opportunism," Siddaramaiah said. He went on to make a stinging attack on Deve Gowda: "Your last dream to make your son the chief minister again will never come true."

No-confidence motion

Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the BJP was blocking a no-confidence motion in Parliament because it was scared. "For the last 10 days, a no-confidence motion is being blocked in Parliament because the government is scared. What has Modi done in the last four years," Rahul asked, going on to attack Modi over demonetisation, Rafale deal, unemployment and the Nirav Modi scam.

A sea of curious people gathered in the city to see Rahul and Siddaramaiah during their roadshow. The roadshow started from the British-era guest house all the way to the Maharaja's College Grounds, where the stage was set for the fourth leg of the Congress president's tour to conclude.

Compensation

At a corner meeting in Srirangapatna, KPCC president G Parameshwara announced Rs 5,000 as compensation for each victim of the balloon explosion that occurred on Friday. At least 10 persons, including children, were injured when the giant helium balloon went off. The balloon was part of the arrangements to welcome Rahul.

Rahul supports Darshan

At Pandavapura, Rahul met Darshan Puttannaiah, the son of Melkote legislator K S Puttannaiah who died recently. Darshan will contest from the constituency that his father, a noted farmer leader, represented. He will contest as a candidate of the Swaraj India party. Even as Rahul greeted Darshan, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar assured the public that the Congress would "stand in your support."

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