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'Karnataka crisis will strengthen Congress'
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | January 18, 2006 23:20 IST
Last Updated: January 19, 2006 11:49 IST
The crisis in Karnataka will strengthen the Congress in the state, believes a senior party leader.
"We will come out stronger even if our government falls," says Hariprasad, a senior member of Parliament from Karnataka and a member of Congress Working Committee.
While conceding that the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government in the state did face a crisis, Hariprasad said, "The new faction of H D Kumaraswamy, in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, cannot run a smooth government even if they somehow manage to form it because of the contradictions inherent in them."
A group of JD-S legislators led by party president N Thipanna and Kumaraswamy met Karnataka Governor T N Chaturvedi on Wednesday evening to announce their decision to withdraw support from the Dharam Singh-led coalition government, and staked claim to form a new government.
With just 64 members in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the Congress is unlikely to resort to any other avenues like dissolution of Assembly, sources say. "However, the situation is fluid and some new developments may take place in a few hours," say Congressmen in Bangalore.
According to Hariprasad, the Congress decision 'to go with Siddaramaiah is the bone of contention between Deve Gowda and Congress'.
Siddaramaiah is a powerful Kuruba leader who parted ways with Deve Gowda with the covert help of Congress, but could not be convinced to join the party. However, it was only because of an alliance with Siddaramaiah's All India Progressive Janata Dal that the Congress could gain an impressive win in district elections held recently; the alliance won in 15 out of 27 districts.
"We are fighting to unite secular forces of Karnataka, which will help us in the long run," said Hariprasad.
The sharp political polarization in the state will be exposed after the fall of the Dharam Singh government. While the Congress will team up with Siddaramaiah, a former deputy chief minister, the BJP, which is registering an impressive growth in the state, will have Deve Gowda 's outfit JD-S on its side.