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JD-S MP speaks: Why I cross-voted
Krishnakumar P and Vicky Nanjappa in New Delhi
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July 22, 2008 23:44 IST

As speculated, a lot of MPs cross-voted and a few abstained, leaving the United Progressive Alliance with an easy win in the crucial vote.

Merely hours after voting, one of the MPs who cross-voted, Shivanna of the Janata Dal-Secular told that he changed his mind at the last minute and decided to vote for the UPA, defying his party, which only two days ago decided to vote against the government, and also issued a whip to that effect.

And -- hold your breath -- he is the JD-S whip, effectively meaning Shivanna the MP flouted an order issued by Shivanna the party leader!

"What our leader did yesterday was wrong. He shouldn't have made the decision to go against the UPA and side with the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Left and the Third Front. I felt it was not the correct decision and took a last minute decision according to my conscience," Shivanna said.

He said Deve Gowda's move to side with the Third Front and Mayawati would weaken the JD-S in the state and -- more important for him -- in his constituency. "The BSP and the Third Front are all non-existent powers in my state. And during the last elections, in the four to five new constituencies that were introduced (due to the delimitation process) we did not do well.

That is why I personally felt that it will be a problem if I remain with the JD-S. In the future if I wanted to contest from the same constituency on a JD-S ticket, my position would have been weakened. That is why I voted for the Congress and I will soon join that party," said Shivanna, a former Congress member who changed his loyalty to the JD-S in 2004.

He also added he will go to his constituency and explain to his people by way of road shows why it is a good decision.

Shivanna also said he was very much for the nuclear deal and that was also one of the reasons he decided to move away from his party, which had opposed the deal.

"The nuclear deal is a very good thing for the country. Our party had only three minutes to speak and MP Veerendra Kumar spoke for all the three minutes. If I had the time I would have spoken in favour of the deal.

This deal is definitely is in the interest of the nation. The future generation will hugely benefit from this deal. If we had not voted in favour of the deal, it would have been a great injustice to the nation on the part of the politicians," he said.

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