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JD-S to prepare for polls after Cong rejects coalition offer
October 25, 2007 15:47 IST
A day after the Congress ruled out forming a coalition government with it in Karnataka, the Janata Dal-Secular on Thursday said that it will go to the people to seek a fresh mandate.
"With the Congress bringing the curtains down on government formation, the only course left for us is to gear up for elections," JD-S chief H D Deve Gowda announced at a hurriedly convened press meet.
All India Congress Committee General Secretary Prithivraj Chavan had said in Delhi on Wednesday that the Congress was not in favour of forming a coalition government but was interested in coming to power on its own through early polls.
"The BJP has already announced that it will face elections. The Congress has pulled the curtain down on government formation. We are the only third party left in the state. We should keep these developments in mind and go ahead to strengthen and prepare the party for elections," Gowda said.
The JD-S did not want to present a picture to people that its legislators were scared to face elections, he said while pointing out that MLAs in all parties were averse to polls now.
Senior JD-S leaders including former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, M P Prakash and others will meet on Thursday and announce a decision in favour of elections, he said.
Announcing poll-preparedness, Gowda said the list of contesting candidates will be announced by November 15.
Trying to keep his flock together, the former prime minister said besides JD-S MLAs, the independents and BJP legislators supporting the party will also be given tickets to contest.
Gowda, who began the exercise of restructuring district units and sorting out differences among partymen on Thursday through meetings with districts units of Uttara Kannada and Dharwad, said he will complete it by November 1.
He also announced that he would be launching a statewide electioneering campaign from November 2.
Gowda also rejected the notion that his party was humiliated after the Congress spurned its offer to form a coalition government in the state.
"The question of waiting for a call by the Congress or an invitation to form the government does not arise at all now. The Congress has its own right to reject any offer. Where is the question of being humiliated?" he shot back while answering a query.
He expressed confidence about the party putting up a good show in the upcoming elections, drawing inspiration from the JD-S' performance in the recent urban local bodies polls.
When his attention was drawn to the state Assembly being kept under suspended animation, he said, "It is the responsibility of Governor Rameshwar Thakur to dissolve the House and facilitate seeking fresh mandate from people."
Gowda, however, defended the Delhi mission undertaken by former state home minister M P Prakash, remarking it was done in consonance with the opinion expressed by MLAs to explore the possibility of forming a government with the Congress.