Months after divorce, Cong-JD(S) mull pact again

JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda

More and more Congress leaders are either opening up, or are not averse to the idea of joining hands with the JD(S) once again in the event of the BJP government becoming unstable after the December 5 byelections. 

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa needs to win at least 6-7 out of the 15 constituencies facing bypolls in order to secure a simple majority in the Assembly. 

Traditionally rivals, the Congress and the JD(S) came together to form the government in May 2018. Their government was fraught with internal contradictions and it collapsed with the disqualification of 17 Congress and JD(S) legislators — 13 of whom are contesting as BJP candidates in the bypolls. Since the break-up, both parties have attacked each other bitterly. 

But now, some leaders of the Congress and the JD(S) have been dropping hints publicly that they can return to power again despite everything that happened over the past year.

The JD(S) leadership has already dropped enough hints with party supremo H D Deve Gowda himself sending feelers to AICC president Sonia Gandhi, saying “everything will depend on her decision”.

The latest to join the chorus was senior Congress leader B K Hariprasad, who said on Saturday that the Congress-JD(S) coalition can become a reality. 

“The Congress will win 10-11 seats and the BJP government will fall due to lack of majority. If the Congress high command takes a decision, and JD(S) supports us, the Congress will come back to power,” said Hariprasad, who saw Gowda welcoming the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance in Maharashtra as a “positive signal” about the coalition’s return in the state. 

On Friday, leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said the Congress will come to power after the December 5 byelections, whose results will be out December 9.

Former deputy chief minister G Parameshwara explained the possible scenarios after the byelections.

“If the BJP doesn’t get the majority, then naturally the government will fall. Then, both parties can form the government or there will be President’s rule and then midterm polls,” he said.

“Someone will have to form the government. It will have to be either the JD(S) supporting the BJP or the Congress.”

Another senior Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy on Saturday said he was okay with the alliance. 

Talks of another Congress-JD(S) alliance come amid cries from BJP leaders that both parties were in cahoots for the December 5 bypolls.

Yediyurappa is determined to ensure the BJP stays in power, especially after the setback in Maharashtra.

 

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