Congress to react cautiously to Karnataka developments

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New Delhi, Oct 6 (UNI) Congress president Sonia Gandhi today stepped into the Karnataka scene as the party said it would tread cautiously in deciding its role in the wake of the breakup of the ruling Janata Dal (Secular)-BJP alliance.

Ms Gandhi began consultations with senior party leaders, including AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka Prithviraj Chavan.

The general feeling among the leaders was that the party should be cautious as it had to deal with two political parties which are "power hawks." A majority of the leaders are not in favour of extending support to the JD (S) and give further lease of life to the Kumaraswamy government.

However, a final stand of the party would be taken only after Mr Chavan's visit to Bangalore tomorrow. He would interact with the party leaders and MLAs to assess the mood of those at the ground level.

"It is too early to work out any strategy as the BJP is yet to meet Karnataka Governor and withdraw support," AICC General Secretary Veerappa Moily told mediapersons a few hours after the BJP Parliamentary Board decided to witdhraw support to the 20-month-old H D Kumaraswamy government in the state reducing it to a minority.

Mr Moily, a former chief mInister of Karnataka, said the Congress would not react to the developments in the state till the support was "officially withdrawn." Talking to mediapersons at the AICC headquarters here, he said the BJP should know it was not that easy to get roots in South India, especially in Karnataka.

Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi described the scenario in Karnataka as ''unfortunate," and said the voters felt betrayed by ''corruption-ridden bad governance'' of the JD (S) and BJP coalition.

''As far as the Congress is concerned, it is prepared to face 'every eventuality' and the party would take appropriate decision as the events unfold,'' Dr Singhvi said.

The JD (S) has mere 48 MLAs in a House of 224 members and after withdrawal of support by the BJP, which is the largest single group, the party would obviously have to depend on the Congress which had 60 odd members in the Assembly.

UNI

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