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|October 13, 1999||
JD-U breaks off with BJP in Karnataka
The National Democratic Alliance in Karnataka today suffered a severe setback with the state Janata Dal-United deciding to sever its links with the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Talking to newsmen in Bangalore after a meeting of the newly elected JD-U legislators, former chief minister J H Patel said the party would however extend full support to the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
Patel also expressed disappointment over the exclusion of former commerce minister Ramakrishna Hegde in the Vajpayee government. "It has come as a surprise to us," he said, and that Hegde's rich experience could have been utilised by the government. "He should have been there (in the ministry)", he added.
Patel said the JD-U would work independently in the legislature and outside and there would be no truck with the BJP henceforth. "We will not discuss any issue with them". Patel said today's meeting did not discuss the alliance issue, but would take it up at a meeting to be held in the presence of former commerce minister Ramakrishna Hegde who he charged with having "trapped" the Janata Dal into the alliance.
Patel said, "the alliance had worked at cross purposes at the hustings". In 35 constituencies, the party had lost by less than 1000 votes by "sheer betrayal by the so-called alliance partner".
Patel, accepting the defeat of his party, said it would offer constructive opposition to the S M Krishna government and would not oppose it for the sake of opposition. The meeting also authorised Patel, Hegde and state unit president C Byre Gowda to decide the leader, deputy leader and chief whip of the legislature party.
Earlier, addressing the legislators, the former chief minister said even the NDA government at the Centre had many inherent contradictions with various groups with diverse political interests. "I do not know how Vajpayee will manage, but I wish him well", he added.
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