New Delhi-Bangalore, Oct 4: The BJP's dream of capturing power in a southern state remained far from realisation today with the Janata Dal (S) refusing to transfer power to the saffron party in Karnataka.
While the BJP asserted that the transfer of power to the party and the Chief Ministership to Mr B S Yediyurappa in Karnataka were 'non-negotiable', the JD (S) sounded a death-knell for the coalition Government as Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said his party was prepared to face the people's court and questioned the communal credentials of the coalition partner.
Briefing mediapersons after an hour-long meeting of the BJP's Parliamentary Board which reviewed the issue of transfer of power in Karnataka, party Vice President Yashwant Sinha, who is in-charge of Karnataka affairs said the BJP would convey this to Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H D Deve Gowda when he would meet BJP president Rajnath Singh next.
The BJP had decided to convene its meeting on October six following a telephone call from Mr Gowda intimating him that the party would take a decision on the issue at its Political Affairs Committee meeting tomorrow.
Depending upon the response from Mr Gowda, the BJP's Parliamentary Board will meet on October six, Mr Sinha said and it was entirely up to the JD(S). Asked about the claims of a Karnataka BJP leader that the party was getting support from 'breakaway legislators', Mr Sinha said the BJP would not engineer any break-up but would welcome the groups that were willing to extend support to the BJP. ''We have kept all our options open,'' he remarked.
On the other hand, on the eve of the crucial Political Affairs Committee meeting of the JD(S), Mr Kumaraswamy lashed out at the BJP at a party state executive meeting and expressed serious doubts about the safety of minorities and Dalits at the hands of his coalition partner. The State Executive unanimously resolved to leave the issue to be decided by the PAC meeting.