BENGALURU: With neither the Congress nor the BJP managing to get a simple majority in the 55-member Kalaburagi Mahanagara Palike election, the results of which were announced on Monday, both the parties are making attempts to woo the JDS, which won four seats. While both parties sounded confident of coming to power, the JDS, whose support will be crucial, has been mum so far.
The four JDS council members will be meeting party supremo HD Deve Gowda and former CM H D Kumaraswamy before a final decision is taken. The Congress won in 27 wards, the BJP in 23 and the JDS in four while one seat was won by an Independent. The Kalaburagi corporation council has 64 voters to elect Mayor and Deputy Mayor including 55 elected councillors, MPs, MLAs and MLCs. The BJP has 29 votes including 23 newly elected councillors, one independent councillor, MP, MLA and MLCs. Likewise, the Congress has 30 votes including 27 newly elected members, one MP, one MLA and one MLC.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru on Tuesday, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai claimed that the JDS has shown interest to work with the BJP in the Kalaburagi civic body. “I have spoken to the JDS leaders in this regard and they too have expressed their desire to be alliance partners. And it is a good sign”, he said, adding that they will make a move on the alliance only after holding discussions with BJP workers.
Meanwhile, JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda said they did not expect even four seats in Kalaburagi. “Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has spoken to me as well as to Kumaraswamy. I have told Kumaraswamy to take the opinion of local leaders and proceed,’’ he said. On whether the BJP was in touch with him, Gowda said no one had spoken to him so far. “Bommai may have spoken to Kumaraswamy, but not to me,” he noted.
On Monday evening, Kumaraswamy had led a delegation of his party legislators to Bommai on the pretext of discussing various issues including the delay in implementation of irrigation projects. The Congress too is sparing no effort. KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre said their party leader Mallikarjun Kharge has spoken to Deve Gowda. “Secular parties will join hands and rule in Kalaburagi. We have won more seats and, in a democracy, it is only fair that the party which has more seats comes to power,” he said.
However, the JDS is not revealing its cards just yet. Speaking to TNIE, senior leader Bandeppa Kashampur said that the party leadership will decide on an alliance. “Whatever Kumaraswamy decides, we will go with it. Right now, we have not decided anything,’’ he added.