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Karnataka: JD(S) absence raises eyebrows
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | November 12, 2007 21:54 IST
The move by the Janata Dal (S) not to swear in any of its ministers took every one in Karnataka by surprise. Though the JD(S) maintains that it did not wish to swear in its ministers in batches, the BJP is worried. There are indications that there is more behind this move by the JD(S) rather than the excuses the leaders offer.
JD(S) sources said party leader H D Deve Gowda is upset that the BJP is not doing much about the 12 conditions that were imposed by him. Gowda had even refused to meet with the BJP leaders who were in Karnataka and left for Madhya Pradesh suddenly.
The Gowda clan, however, maintains that he was in Madhya Pradesh to inaugurate a party office. Sources close to Gowda say that he is adamant that the 12 conditions are adhered to or there is every chance of the arrangement going awry.
Sources also say the JD(S) may consider supporting government from outside. A final call, however, will be taken after Gowda returns to Bangalore, sources said. The JD(S) feels that they can exert more pressure on the BJP by staying outside the government. Even if the JD(S) wants to withdraw support, it would be easier for them to do so if they stay away from the government.
The BJP, meanwhile, will do everything in the book to ensure that the JD(S) will join the government. Convincing Gowda will be an uphill task for the BJP as there are certain conditions which the BJP may find impossible to abide by.
Another story doing the rounds is that the JD(S) stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony because they wanted it to be an all-BJP show.
The JD(S) also wants to show to the public and its voters in particular that it is not the "inferior partner" in the coalition. They want to portray the picture to voters that they are in control. The JD(S), which is a regional party, feels that playing second fiddle could do more damage to its image.
Another factor that worries the BJP is that the floor test will be held 10 days away. Initially, the date was set on November 15, but it was abruptly postponed to November 23. What is to be seen now is whether the JD(S) will play the M P Prakash card.
In a recent interview, he said apart from Kumaraswamy, only he can split the party. If 16 MLAs decide to go with Prakash, then the BJP could be in for serious trouble.