BJP and J D (S) prepare to cut off coalition connections

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New Delhi, Oct 6 (UNI) The Parliamentary Board meeting of the BJP started here this morning to take a decision regarding withdrawal of support to the Janata Dal(Secular) led government in Karnataka after discussions between the two party presidents Rajnath Singh and H D Deve Gowda failed to make any headway.

BJP sources said the party had stated in clear terms that there can be no consensus on the issue of transfer of chief ministership to Deputy Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa of the BJP.

The J D (S) chief on his part had sought the BJP's continued support following the party's good performance in the recently concluded local body elections. When Mr Gowda told the BJP chief that there were other issues that needed to be discussed, he was told that these could be addressed once the transfer of power took place.

The J D (S) had scheduled the meeting of its Political Affairs Committee an hour after the BJP's Parliamentary Board meeting.

Senior BJP leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj, M Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitly, Yashwant Sinha, Anant Kumar and Mr Yediyurappa were attending the meeting.

BJP ministers, including Mr Yediyurappa, have resigned from their posts to pressurise their coalition partner whereas the ministers belonging to the J D (S) have recommended convening of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on October 18 for a possible trial of strength.

Mr Yediyurappa led a delegation of BJP MPs yesterday to urge the party leadership to ensure that there was a final decision by this evening so that the BJP in Karnataka could end its support to the coalition.

The Congress, which is in the opposition in Karnataka has objected to Governor Rameshwar Thakur's statement that the JD(S) can't unilaterally recommend convening of the assembly according to its convenience. It had demanded a trial of strength immediately without allowing any scope for horse-trading of MLAs in the House.

With no meeting point between the BJP and J D (S), the clouds of mid-term elections appear thick in the state where no political group has a majority in the 224-member assembly.

The BJP is the single largest party with 79 members followed by the Congress with 64. The JD(S) with 48 members is third.

The rest consists of rebel Janata Dal MLAs or members belonging to small political groups and independents.

UNI

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