Karnataka: BJP pins its hopes on fissures in coalition

A day after the results of the Assembly elections to five states, Karnataka BJP, in an informal meeting here is said to have, by and large, come to the conclusion that the party need not be unduly worried about the outcome.

A day after the results of the Assembly elections to five states, Karnataka BJP, in an informal meeting here is said to have, by and large, come to the conclusion that the party need not be unduly worried about the outcome.

According to sources privy to the meeting, the results, in fact, could wedge a divide between the coalition partners of the ruling alliance – the JD(S) and the Congress.

The logic is that with Congress gaining an upper hand in the polls up north, it will be more aggressive against the JD(S), something which Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and his father former prime minister H D Deve Gowda will not take lying down.

An MLA who attended the meeting said that the “distrust” among the coalition partners will aggravate further. This could be advantageous for the BJP in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, next year. A section of Congress MLAs has openly stated that issues pertaining to their constituencies taken up with Kumaraswamy are being left unattended. The Congress leadership, with its commendable performance in the Assembly polls to the five states, is bound to flex its muscles and shun the image of playing second fiddle.

However, the meeting felt that the BJP should not be complacent and put a united fight to win at least 22 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats. BJP State President B S Yeddyurappa is likely to convene a meeting of the legislature party in Belagavi before the end of the winter session.

The Congress is already a divided house with the battles of one-upmanship between the former chief minister and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, and Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar and Municipal Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi.

Parameshwara managing to get his confidante K Prathap Chandra Shetty installed as Chairman of the Legislative Council thereby successfully undermining Siddaramaiah, whose candidate S R Patil was at the forefront to bag the coveted post, is a case in point.

Apprehensive of the Congress trying to gain an upper hand in the coalition, the JD(S) is planning to tell its alliance partner to put off any plan to expand the state Cabinet. The Congress had announced that the Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet would be expanded soon after the Belagavi session, which concludes on December 21. There is a lot of pressure on the Congress by its legislators that the six vacancies available with the party in the Cabinet are filled up.

On its part, the BJP has dropped its plans to destabilise the government by trying to wean away Congress and JD(S) legislators and thereby bring down the numbers of the alliance. The hope is that the government will fall on its own.

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Karnataka: BJP pins its hopes on fissures in coalition

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