'Ray of hope in JD-S-Cong coalition in K'taka'

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Bangalore, Oct 24: Former Karnataka Home Minister M P Prakash, who was away in New Delhi during the last two days to make efforts towards formation another Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state, today said that there is a 'ray of hope' for formation of such an coalition once again.

Speaking to reporters in the city after his return from Delhi, he claimed that his meetings with Congress leaders including Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, AICC member and Karnataka Incharge Prithviaraj Chavan and some other top leaders to pave the way for the setting up of the new alternative government was positive and the final outcome was likely to come out in a weeks time.

He said that Congress President Sonia Gandhi was presently on a tour of China and the party would wait for her return.

Justifying his latest efforts despite not being 'authorised' by party supremo H D Devegowda, he said he was actually authorised by the party MLAs and state unit JD(S) President Mirajuddin Patel for the formation of the alternative government to avoid the mid-term elections to the state assembly.

Stating that there was no motive to split the party, he said he had taken the initiative to meet the Congress leaders following the 'pressure' from his party legislators who were opposed to go for mid-term polls.

Reports suggested that a group of MLAs had been putting the pressure on Mr Prakash to take the lead in splitting the party and join hands with Congress for forming the new government. A few of them accompanied the veteran leader on his Delhi trip.

To a question on the statement by Mr Gowda that he (Mr Prakash) had not consulted him before emplaning to Delhi, he said that he had been athorised by his party legislators at a meeting held on October 15.

Mr Prakash said he had already given the details of his meeting with Congress leaders in the last two days in New Delhi to former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaswamy and he would later meet Mr Devegowda as well. Mr Gowda reportedly had firmly opposed the formation of the new government with the help of Congress.

Meanwhile, Mr Kumarswamy convened an emergency meeting of the JD(S) legislature party following the opening of talks with Congress.

"I will be convening the meeting of the legislators party either tomorrow or day after to discuss openly and frankly with MLAs and proceed accordingly," he said.

Meanwhile former Karnataka Chief Minister and BJP leader B S Yediyurappa while criticising the new initiative, said that it would be a futile exercise.

He ruling out any effort to form the government once again with the JD(S) and said that his party was ready to face fresh elections.

UNI

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