Deve Gowda to discuss Karnataka developments with Rajnath tomorrow

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New Delhi, Oct 5 (UNI) The Political Affairs Committee of the Janata Dal (Secular) today authorised its President H D Deve Gowda to communicate the party's 'sentiments' to his BJP counterpart Rajnath Singh at a ''mutually agreed venue'' tomorrow.

The party reviewed its relationship with its coalition partner for the last 20 months and the ''uneasy'' situation now where it is faced with the prospects of either parting with power to the BJP or facing mid-term elections. The two party leaders will meet at a venue other then each other's homes, where Mr Gowda will communicate the sentiments of the party's legislators, JD (S) Secretary General K Danish Ali told newspersons after a three hour long meeting.

The Karnataka state unit's viewpoints were communicated by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Home Minister M P Prakash, who briefed the PAC, the highest decision making body of the party. The meeting was 'inconclusive' and would meet again after the meeting of the two party chiefs, Mr Ali said.

The BJP has scheduled its Parliamentary Board's meeting for tomorrow morning and the meeting with Mr Gowda and Mr Singh has to take place before it. The Board made it clear in its yesterday's meeting that the the issue of transfer of power to BJP for the rest of the 20 months term and chief ministership to Mr B S Yediyurappa was 'non-negotiable'.

Meanwhile, Karnataka BJP Legislature Party Leader, Mr Yediyurappa led a delegation of state MPs to party leadership asking them to get a final word from the JD (S) on transfer of power to the BJP by tomorrow evening, failing which the party should permit the Karnataka Legislature party to withdraw its support to the government. Asked about this statement, Mr Ali said it was a matter between Mr Yediyurappa and his party and he had nothing to say on the issue.

Answering questions on transfer of power, Mr Ali said the Chief Minister and his government was in its place and he had convened Legislature session on October 18 and whatever the 'doubts and questions' that persist on the longevity of the coalition would become clear by that time. He replied in the negative to a question if the party had sought Congress' support for the JD (S) Government, in the event of a BJP-JD (S) breakup.

The BJP ministers, including Mr Yediyurappa, had resigned from the Council of Ministers from October 2 to pressurise the JD (S) to transfer power. However, the JD (S) is giving no such indications and both parties are talking of going to the people as there appears to be no meeting point.

Informed sources believe that the JD(S) had toughened its stance to retain its newly-acquired Muslim vote base in the recently concluded Local Body elections and doesn't want to fritter away this advantage at a time when the Parliament elections are decending anytime in the next one year.


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