''Cong's attempt to split party led to JD(S) U-turn''

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New Delhi, Oct 27 (UNI) The efforts of the Congress to ''split'' the 58-member Janata Dal (Secular) seems to be the reason behind the U-turn of the JD(S) which has decided to lend support to the BJP to form the government in Karnataka, party sources said.

A top JD(S) leader said party president H D Deve Gowda was annoyed at the way the Congress was attempting to ''split and devour'' the party and the only way to save it from being decimated was to announce its support to the BJP, however inconvenient it was for the party and its ideology.

''We have to exist and save our weapon to serve the people. If we become powerless and disarmed, Mr Gowda will be in the rows of Mr I K Gujral and V P Singh,'' a senior leader said rationalising the party's support to the BJP.

Both the BJP as well as the JD(S) have officially sought the dissolution of the Karnataka Assembly and holding of early elections. It is only the Congress which has written to the Governor that it should be consulted at the time of formation of the Government, the leader said.

Mr Gowda had no comments to make on party leader M P Prakash's comments before his departure from Delhi and that the Janata Dal legislature Party's decision to extend support to the BJP-led coalition was ''illegal'' and at best it could only be a meeting of individuals as no notices have been served to the MLAs.

The party was of the view that offering support to the BJP would ''erase'' the feeling among people that Mr Gowda betrayed the BJP and also Mr B S Yediyurappa, who was to become the chief minister.

Sources said Mr Gowda had spoken to his BJP counterpart on telephone that the party should accept the state level decisions of the JD(S) offering their support to the BJP-led coalition, and the two parties had a clear majority in the 224-member Assembly. JD(S) Secretary General K Danish Ali, defending the party's decision, said Mr Gowda had written a letter to the President, Prime Minister and the Karnataka Governor seeking dissolution of the House.

When the Congress indulged in mean tactics of splitting the party using Mr Prakash, the party had no option but to surrender to the BJP and retain its entity, he added.

Currently, the Assembly is placed under suspended animation from October 9 and constitutional experts have expressed views that there is no bar on the Governor to allow the formation of the Government provided the political parties have the numbers on their side.

UNI

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