JD(S)' aim is to defeat disqualified MLAs, says HDK

Kumaraswamy said there was a meeting in the mutt of Shivacharya Swamigalu that included some prominent seers, Chief Minister's son, which shows how "misuse" of power and cast politics was being played out, to exert pressure. PTI

JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday indicated his party would take a call on its role, in case the ruling BJP in Karnataka loses its majority after the results of December 5 by-elections to 15 assembly constituencies in the state.

He also said the "main target" of his party was to defeat the disqualified legislators, whose rebellion had led to the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government. "In a democratic setup, a government should have a clear majority. In December 5 bypolls, if BJP doesn't win the required number of seats and get limited to two or three seats, they will lose the majority, they will have to resign and the government will have to go," Kumaraswamy told reporters in Mysuru.

Responding to a question about his party's role if BJP fails to win enough seats to retain its majority, he said, "What will happen then, we will see later, why should I say it now? How should I know about the developments that will happen later?..." "Whether this government will have the majority or lose it will depend on the bypoll results, let the results come out, we will discuss it later," he said adding "let's discuss it on December 9."

The BJP needs to win at least six seats in the bypolls to 15 constituencies to remain in a majority in the 224-member assembly, which would still have two vacant seats-- Maski and R R Nagar. "I'm told that Yediyurappa has told his cabinet colleagues- if we (BJP) don't get the required number of seats in the bypolls, we will have to lose power..," Kumaraswamy noted, in response to a query.

Noting that his effort in the by-election was to gain public trust and more seats than Congress and BJP, the JD(S) leader said, "In these 15 constituencies the disqualified legislators should lose, that's our target."

For winning majority seats crucial for the government's survival, BJP has fielded 13 of the 16 disqualified legislators, who joined the party as its candidates from their respective constituencies.

Among the 15 constituencies going to bypolls, 12 were held by Congress and three by JD(S), whose coalition government collapsed due to rebellion by the disqualified MLAs.

Meanwhile, JD(S) candidates from Athani-Gurappa Shivaning Dashyal and Shivalinga Shivacharya Swamigalu (a Swamiji) from Hirekerur have withdrawn their candidature, which was allegedly done under the "pressure" of BJP, party leaders said.

Kumaraswamy said there was a meeting in the mutt of Shivacharya Swamigalu that included some prominent seers, Chief Minister's son, which shows how "misuse" of power and cast politics was being played out, to exert pressure. "We did not put pressure on the seer to contest polls from the party, his devotees and seer himself had decided to contest. In fact, he had called me stating that he wants to contest from JD(S) after which I had a sent B-form," he said.

JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda too said, Swamiji was given ticket as he expressed interest to contest on it, but it looks like there was "mental pressure" on him to withdraw. "I feel the individual freedom was infringed upon following which the Swamiji had to bow down and withdraw his candidature...," he said pointing to a meeting involving few other pontiffs and Chief Minister Yediyurappa's son to put pressure on Shivacharya Swamigalu to withdraw.

Gowda further alleged that JD(S) Athani candidate Dashyal was in Hyderabad and he was brought from there to withdraw. Observing that now 12 candidates from the party are in the fray, with it supporting independent candidate Sharath Bachegowda in Hoskote, Gowda said, he along with party leaders would put efforts to win most of the constituencies. "We will put up a fight against both national parties."

Alleging false propaganda was being spread in Mahalakshmi layout constituency that JD(S) candidate was withdrawing and his posters were torn, the JD(S) supremo said, he was taking it as a personal challenge to win the constituency.

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