Lull in political activities in Karnataka

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Bangalore, Oct 3: There was a lull in political activities in Karnataka today even as the scene of the power transfer crisis between coalition partners Janata Dal(S) and Bharatiya Janata Party shifted to New Delhi.

With the BJP anticipated change of guard of the coalition government failed to come through on the D-day today, none of the BJP ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, projected as the party candidate for the post of Chief Ministership who had tendered their resignation to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, kept away from their offices.

Mr Kumaraswamy who decried the BJP decision as hasty, today told the media that his party had never stated that the power transfer would not take place and the BJP legislators were acting ''childish''. He accused the BJP of not giving him 'enough time' and had failed to discuss the modalities of shifting of power.

The Chief Minister however attended some official functions.

JD(S) supremo H D Devegowda, who is now calling the shots, today said that the National Executive of his party would meet on October five in the national capital to take the 'final decision' which will be binding on all in the party.

Meanwhile the Parliamentary Board of the BJP would meet in Delhi tomorrow evening to take stock of the situation in Karnataka and decide on the future course.

Mr Kumaraswamy during the day met his father, Mr Devegowda, and held discussions on the political scenario.

Hardly any activity was witnessed in the BJP camp here after the 17 ministers including the Mr Yediyurappa had handed over their resignation letters to the Chief Minister yesterday. This had come after the 'deadline' they had set for the Chief Minister to step down expired last evening.

Mr Yediyurappa preferred to go to Yediyur in Tumkur district to to offer pooja to his family deity. BJP emissary Yaswant Sinha, who was camping in the city for the past five days, Rajya Sabha member Venkaiah Naidu and MP Ananth Kumar left for Delhi in the morning. Mr Yediyurappa and BJP state unit president D V Sadananda Gowda also left for the national capital later in the day.

Speaking to media persons Mr Naidu said there was no need for further discussions with the JD(S), including Mr Deve Gowda, over the transfer of power and only thing left for the JD(S) now was to hand over the Chief Minister's post to the BJP as per the pre-government formation agreement.

Mr Yediyurappa told reporters that he was still hopeful of 'smooth' transfer of power and he had full belief in Mr Kumaraswamy.

Meanwhile, the Congress camp is waiting in the wings and watching the latest developments with great interest. KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge said the party would adopt a 'wait and watch' approach before taking the next course of action.

Leader of opposition in the Assembly Dharam Singh denied that the party was contemplating extending outside support to the JD(S) to form the next government.

Vidhana Soudha, the corridors of power, wore a deserted look as BJP ministers kept away from official work.



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