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Consensus eludes JD-S, Congress in Karnataka

May 19, 2004 00:38 IST

The process of forming the next government in Karnataka is likely to be delayed as neither the Congress nor the Janata Dal, Secular, which have agreed to form a coalition, have made concrete moves towards this end.

A day after the notification constituting the 12th legislative assembly of Karnataka was issued, Governor T N Chaturvedi invited the heads of the state units of the JD-S, Congress, and Bharatiya Janata Party to discuss the installation of a new government.

The assembly election in Karnataka, which was held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha election, has thrown up a fractured verdict. The BJP has emerged as the single largest party with 79 seats, but is in no position to form the government, as the JD-S has ruled out a deal with the saffron party.

Seeing the 'fluid' political atmosphere, the Congress and the BJP sought postponement of the informal meeting with the governor to May 20, but the JD-S, which has emerged as an inevitable partner in any alternative ministry in Bangalore, sent a delegation.

The delegation headed by the JD-S legislature party leader, former deputy chief minister K Siddaramaiah, assured Chaturvedi that it would form a government with Congress support in two or three days. The process of negotiation is on, the team said.

But there has been no headway in the talks between the Congress and the JD-S on the nature of the coalition government.

Emerging from the 20 minute meeting with Chaturvedi, Siddaramaiah said he told the governor that the JD-S legislature party has authorised the party's national president, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, to hold talks with the Congress on the matter.

Siddaramaiah said some of the independents who have won the election are also willing to support a JD-S-Congress government.

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