BJP, Congress Court Kingmaker Gowda
BENGALURU:The BJP on Saturday joined the race to woo the JD(S) in a bid to checkmate the Congress and take over the reins of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
Waking up from its celebration mood, the BJP sent Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda to JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda’s house in Padmanabhanagar to seek his support. The two leaders were closeted for over an hour. But Gowda reportedly did not make any commitment to the BJP. All that he said, according to sources, was he would examine all options and take a call on September 2.
The BJP is expected to request its national president Amit Shah to speak to Gowda. Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh is also said to have spoken to Gowda over the phone and requested him to support the party to keep the BJP out.
Though the BJP has won a simple majority with 101 seats in a council of 198, it falls short of the magic figure by three, taking into account the non-councillor voters such as MLAs, MLCs and MPs. The BJP’s tally goes up to 126 in an integrated council of 255. The required figure for a simple majority is 129.Throughout the day, Gowda and his son H D Kumaraswamy remained in the background, leaving everything to party’s city MLAs B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan, Gopalaiah and Akhanda Srinivas Murthy. Khan, who reportedly played a crucial role in brokering a deal with the Congress leaders to grab the Mayor’s post, was vocal about his leanings towards the Congress. He declared the JD(S) would never join hands with the BJP under any circumstances. “I know Deve Gowda will not support the BJP till his last breath. Moreover, the party corporators and MLAs are in favour of the Congress as they think it would help development of the city,” he added.
The JD(S), which is in demand despite winning just 14 seats in the 198-member council, dispatched all its 14 corporators to a resort in Kerala to join six independents who have already been put up there since Friday. Zameer himself drove the bus carrying corporators to the airport, bringing to mind the developments that led to the formation of a JD(S) and BJP coalition government in 2006.
Cong Strategy Meet
KPCC president G Parameshwara and CM Siddaramaiah held a meeting with the party’s 76 corporators to discuss the future course of action and also to take their opinion about a possible tie-up with the JD(S). All corporators have been asked not to leave the city till the mayoral election was over, sources said.
But on record, Parameshwara said, “as I know, there is no such proposal before the party. If the party high command takes any such decision, we will have to abide by it.”