Bangalore, Oct 7 (UNI) The perilously teetering 20-month-old Janata Dal (S)-BJP Government in Karnataka collapsed this afternoon, following withdrawal of support by the saffron party.
BJP leaders led by state unit chief Sadananda Gowda and B S Yediyurappa met Governor Rameshwar Thakur and demanded dismissal of the H D Kumaraswamy Government, after submitting a formal letter of withdrawal of support.
The hectic political developments during the day witnessed a huge rally by the BJP in the city and several other protest rallies organised in different parts of the state. They raised slogans against JD(S) leaders and burnt effigies of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy.
Earlier in the day, the legislature wings of both JD(S) and BJP took stock of the latest developments separately. Both the parties decided to embark on an awareness campaign in the coming days to inform the people about the reasons behind the decisions. Both the parties announced their willingness to go in for an immediate mid-term poll.
Mr Kumaraswamy alleged that there was a lobby within the BJP that succeeded in its ''manipulative politics'' to prevent Mr Yediyurappa from becoming the Chief Minister. His charges were countered by Mr Yediyurappa, who felt it was an attempt to ''upset the unity'' among the BJP leaders.
Mr Gowda's desire to ensure continuance of his son as the Chief Minister led to withdrawal of support, he added.
The Chief Minister said he would meet the Governor tomorrow and appeal to him to provide him an opportunity to prove his strength in the Assembly which had been convened on October 18.
Congress, which had adopted a 'wait and watch' approach sprung into action soon after the BJP leaders met the Governor and handed over a letter to the Governor requesting him to give it an opportunity to form the next government.
AICC general secretary in-charge of state party affairs Prithviraj Chauhan was expected to arrive in the city tonight to chalk out future strategy.
Congress, the second largest party behind BJP, has 65 MLAs in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly.
The JD(S) has 58 (including 9 dissidents and Speaker), BJP 79, Independents 13, JD(U) 5, CPI(M)-one, RPI-one, Vattala Paksha-one and Kannada Nadu-one.
Many of the Janata Dal (S) legislators, who are not ''happy'' with the party decision not to hand over power to the BJP, have, meanwhile, decided to appeal to Mr Kumaraswamy to ''change his mind.'' Speaking to UNI Mahima Patel, JD(S) legislator and son of former Karnataka Chief Minister J H Patel, said majority of the party legislators had disapproved the decision of party President H D Deve Gowda on power transfer.
The dissident legislators held a separate meeting after the JDLP meeting convened by the Chief Minister this morning and distanced themselves from the party's stand.
''The JD(S) legislators, who are not happy with the decision, will take their own stand within a few days'' he said.
Claiming that the decision of JD(S) was taken by 'a few and selected leaders' and was 'imposed' on the party, Mr Patel said, ''It is highly unethical on the part of Chief Minister not to honour the commitment to the BJP''.
Legislators, who were in favour of upholding the political values, were prevented to air their views in the October four party State Executive meeting, Mr Patel said.
About the future course of action he said he was in touch with majority of the ''disgruntled'' legislators and would take a 'final decision' if Chief Minister failed to heed their opinion.
Eds: here pick up from earlier series.