Bengaluru: JD(S) leader H D Kumarswamy with outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Congress state president G Parameshwara arrive to address the media after meeting Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala at Raj Bhavan, in Bengaluru on May 15, 2018.
The Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) is reconciled to accept Congress support to form the new government in Karnataka due to the JD-S’s commitment to secularism, a party leader said on Tuesday.
As party supremo and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda is committed to secularism and wants to work for the minorities, the JD-S would be comfortable in forming the new government in Karnataka with Congress support, JD-S Spokesman Ramesh Babu told IANS here.
“The Congress and BJP are both sides of the same coin and we wanted to maintain equidistance from both, but we are not keen on the BJP as its chief ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa went to jail on graft charges.”
“We have thus agreed to take Congress support to form the new government after a fractured verdict thrown up by the results,” he added.
Asked if it would be a JD-S-led coalition government, Babu said it was premature to say so, as the party’s core committee would decide on the form and structure of the government in consultation with the Congress.
Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, G. Parameshwara and Mallikarun Kharge are meeting Kumaraswamy to discuss the government formation,” added Babu.
Of the 222 constituencies where polling was held on May 12, the BJP won in 101 seats and was leading in three, while the Congress won 78 and JD-S won 37 seats.
JD-S ally Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has won one seat.
Elections in Raja Rajeshwari (RR) Nagar in Bengaluru southwest was postponed to May 28 and countermanded in Jayangar in Bengalur south following the death of BJP candidate and MLA B.N. Vijaya Kumar on May 4.
“Though the BJP has emerged as the single-largest party with 104 seats, it does not have the numbers to form the government, as it is still eight short of the halfway mark of 112,” Babu reasoned.
On the consent of JD-S supremo and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Babu said the party’s state President H.D. Kumaraswamy had agreed to the Congress support ostensibly to keep the BJP out of power in the southern state.
“As JD-S and Congress have the numbers (38+78), which is over the 112 halfway mark, we should be allowed to form the government to prove majority on the floor of the house,” the JD-U leader said.
Hoping that the BJP would not do backdoor politics to regain power and respect the combined numbers the two parties have got, Babu said Kumaraswamy had agreed to the Congress offer, as the Supreme Court had allowed parties with majority to form a government if the single-largest party (BJP) did not have enough seats.
“Kumaraswamy said ahead of the elections that whichever party implements the JD-S manifesto would get its support in case of a hung verdict,” Babu said.
As a regional party, the JD-S has agreed to the Congress support to safeguard the state’s interests, especially of its farmers, women and the poor.
Kumaraswamy became the Chief Minister in February 2006 with BJP support and headed the first coalition government in the state for 20 months till October 2007.