Congress, JD(S) draw up plan to tackle BJP threat

Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy along with Eswar Khandre, D K Shivakumar, Dinesh Kundu Rao, deputy chief minister Dr. G Parameswara and former chief minister Siddaramaiah having a meeting at Siddaramaiah's residence in Bengaluru on Friday.

Alliance partners Congress and the JD(S) have chalked out a plan to keep their house in order and to prevent the BJP from poaching their legislators.

Both parties want to make sure all legislators are together, especially ahead of the crucial Legislative Council bypolls. The alliance partners are apprehensive of cross-voting because secret ballots will be used.

Apparently, the threat posed by the BJP was discussed at length in the Cabinet meeting late on Thursday night.

Top coalition leaders, including Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah and Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar, discussed ways to deal with the situation at the latter’s residence Friday.

The JD(S) has convened its legislature party meeting on Saturday, while the Congress has one slated on October 3.

If everything goes as per plan, a joint legislature party meeting will be convened before the MLC bypolls scheduled for  October 3 and 4 to send out a message that
the alliance partners were united.

In the Cabinet, Kumaraswamy is learnt to have felt the need to “mend our ways.” Kumaraswamy is said to have pointed out that the BJP was trying to capitalise on the disgruntlement of several Congress legislators, who are also ministerial aspirants.

Besides allocation and release of grants for development works, legislators have complained that ministers, especially from the JD(S), are inaccessible. The aggrieved legislators are of the view that if they are not deriving any benefit from the coalition, the party, in turn, will not benefit as well.

As a result, Kumaraswamy is learnt to have directed ministers to clear constituency works as early as possible so as to mitigate the discontentment.

Kumaraswamy is also planning to hold regular meetings to hear legislators out. Apparently, the discussion went to the extent of mulling the possibility of attempting to poach BJP MLAs to ward off the saffron party.

According to sources, the Congress has tasked its leaders with the responsibility of staying in constant touch with disgruntled legislators, in the wake of speculation that the BJP may tap some of them and whisk them away.

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Congress, JD(S) draw up plan to tackle BJP threat

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