K'taka: Gowda says no talks with Congress

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New Delhi, Nov 20: Janata Dal (Secular) chief H D Deve Gowda today welcomed the Union Cabinet's decision to seek dissolution of the Karnataka Assembly and refuted reports that he was negotiating with the Congress to form another coalition government in the state. Mr Gowda said that he had neither met anyone in the Congress nor made any attempt to reach out to them as being projected in a section of the media.

''People think that I will receive a drubbing in the elections and all they have to do is wait for six more months...If we don't return with a bigger strength you can stop recognising us,'' he stated.

Defending his November one letter laying down 12 conditions for extending support to the BJP-led coalition, Mr Gowda said it was made with the ''fond hope and belief'' that it would generate positive incumbency witnessed in the first 20 months of running the coalition.

He also said the conduct and attitude of BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa was not conducive to running a coalition, resulting in JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy and his family members facing public humiliation time and again.

Mr Gowda circulated a set of stamp papers considered by the BJP Parliamentary Board which had two conditions. The first was that the portfolios held by 18 ministers including that of Deputy Chief Minister be transfered to the JD(S) except major and medium irrigation department which should be retained by the BJP to compensate for the PWD and Energy Deparment of the JD(S).

The second was that the JD(S) should retain Urban Development in full and Mines and Geology to compensate for the Health and Family Welfare Department and Excise Department to be retained by the BJP.

Asked if the BJP had betrayed him, Mr Gowda said he did not want to use such words against anybody. ''Now that the assembly will be dissolved, I will welcome it and go to the people.'' He also denied that there was a family war going on among his sons.

Dismissing allegations that the JD (S) was a power-hungry party, he said his party had not imposed any power transfer conditions when it entered into a deal with the Congress to make Mr Dharam Singh the Chief Minister. ''The alliance would have worked well if forces in the Congress had not worked to destabilise the coalition.'' he said.


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