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We are willing to face elections: Kumaraswamy
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | October 04, 2007 17:21 IST
Last Updated: October 04, 2007 18:15 IST
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday said he was willing to face elections if the situation caused by the 'character assassination' campaign by the BJP leaders in the state continues.
"We will go to the people's court," said Kumaraswamy while dropping broad hints about dumping coalition partner Bharatiya Janata Party on the eve of crucial meetings in Delhi which will decide the fate of the 20-month-old coalition government.
Kumaraswamy unleashed a scathing attack on the BJP leadership for remaining mute spectators to the 'character assassination campaign' by the party's Bellary unit leaders.
"Should I hand over power to the BJP whose leaders have vowed to perform the last rites of my family and my party JD-S," said the chief minister.
He also alleged that BJP leaders have conspired to malign him and his family image in public. Kumaraswamy added that the BJP encouraged Member of Legislative Council G Janardhan Reddy to level Rs 150 crore bribery charges and Tourism Minister B Sriramulu to file an attempted murder charge against him.
"It is 100 per cent sure that BJP leaders were behind the conspiracy to taint my image, though the party shared power with me," the chief minister alleged.
"The mutual trust between the parties has ceased to exist now. Power transfer is not a child's play. The BJP never created a cordial atmosphere for such an exercise to happen," he added.
Kumaraswamy defended his decision of not handing over power to the BJP by stating, "My resignation would have created a constitutional crisis. Hence I chose not to do it."
"When grave allegations of corruption and criminal charges were leveled against me, BJP leaders chose to take it lightly. A senior leader performed varamahalaxm' pooja and shared the public dais with my baiters," said the angry chief minister.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has been performing varamahalaxmi pooja in the residence of Bellary leaders for the past three years.
"Turning a blind eye to these unsavoury developments, BJP asked me to resign on October 2," he said.
Referring to the statements made by senior BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha, Venkaiah Naidu, Deputy Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and state unit BJP president D V Sadananda Gowda about the power tranfer, Kumaraswamy asked, "Why did these leaders remain silent and why did they not rein in BJP leaders?"
Kumaraswamy said that none of the local leaders discussed the issue with him, but chose the media to set deadlines for the JD-S. "I was ready to quit. But I wanted to sort out certain issues before that," he reiterated.
In an obvious reference to the BJP sticking to its ideology of Hindutva, he added, "I can't be sure that the BJP will protect the interests of the 5.5 crore people in the state. They may rake up several controversial issues."
Seeking to turn the tables on deputy chief minister and BJP leader Yediyurappa, Kumaraswamy said the BJP approached him for forming a government only after efforts by some of its leaders to split the party and align with the Congress and the JD-S failed. However, he refused to name the BJP leaders who tried to split the party.
"It is true that we agreed to share power for 20 months each, but why did the BJP engage in the power transfer debate at least ten months before the deadline," he asked.
On whether the JD-S was keeping its options open to revive ties with the Congress which it dumped 20 months ago, the chief minister said there was nothing that was not possible in politics and observed, "Politics is nothing but opportunism."
Kumaraswamy added, "Nothing is an end. My doors are open for talks." However, he evaded questions about a possible reconciliation with the BJP.
Meanwhile, former prime minister Deve Gowda told his partymen to 'wait for another 48 hours'. The JD-S supremo said that the talks between him and the BJP's top brass on October 5 hold the key to the future of the present government. He added that a final decision will be taken in the next 48 hours.
Additional reportage by PTI