Former Karnataka Chief Minister and JDS State President H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday warned the Bharatiya Janata Party that any attempt to indulge in horsetrading to purchase JD(S) or Congress legislators will boomerang on the party.
Mr Kumaraswamy, who was earlier elected unanimously the leader of the JD(S) legislature, told newsmen here that already some of the legislators were being approached with an offer of Rs 100 Crore besides position or a berth in the government. ‘Any horsetrading will only boomerang on you’ he threatened the BJP and said that he also had the capability to bring in atleast ten disgruntled BJP legislators. He told the BJP that ‘Operation Kamal’ that was carried out in 2008 to form the government will not succeed this time.
Replying to a question he said a number of the elected legislators were being approached by the BJP.
To another question Mr Kumaraswamy said that the Congress had offered an unconditional support to the JD(S) to form the next government and the question of 20:20 formula of rotating Chief Ministers for 20 months did not arise at this juncture. It is too premature to work out the modalities, he added
He also told Governor Vajubhai Vala to follow what the Governors of Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya had done in the past by calling the alliance partners who had the numerical strength to form the government instead calling the BJP which had emerged the single largest party in the May 12 elections securing 104 seats. The BJP had secured 37 seats and its alliance partner Bahujan Samaj Party had secured one, while the Congress ended up with a tally of 78. Mr Kumaraswamy said that both JD(S) and Congress leaders would call upon the governor later in the day and provide him with the list of 117 members to stake claim to form the next government in Karnataka.
He said that the BJP had also approached him to extend support to the party. However he did not want to go against the wishes of his father, former Prime Minister and JD(S) national President H D Devegowda who had opposed any alliance with the BJP. ‘I had created a blackspot on him in 2008 by joining with the BJP and I do not want to repeat it again’ he had. He however clarified that personally he did not have any belief in secular credentials. Asked whether Union HRD Minister Prakash Javedekar met him this morning he asked ‘who is Javedekar’.
Referring to the Congress support he said “since it was an unconditional support the question of sharing the Chief Minister post does not arise and they have even agreed to make me as the Chief Minister.”
This is for the second time JDS is joining hands with Congress to form a coalition government in the State. However, its exercise not only pushed the party to third position in the subsequent election but also paved way for BJP to make in road in the South for the first time by capturing power in 2008 on sympathy votes after Mr Kumaraswamy failed to handover the Chief Minister post to BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa as per agreement.
In 2003, when there was fractured verdict, JDS had extended support to Congress to form the government and Mr N Dharam Singh became the Chief Minister. After about 18 months JDS withdrew the support only to form a coalition government with the support of BJP, again it (JDS) withdrew support and went to the Governor with a recommendation to dissolve the house. This led to fresh election in 2008 and BJP by winning 210 seats formed the government by taking advantage of sympathy wave. Mr Yeddyurappa became the first BJP Chief Minister.
Mr Kumaraswamy said that in the event he became the Chief Minister, it is not because of the mandate of the people, but due to political compulsions of the current situation.