Kalaburagi impasse: Party veterans try to broker deal

While BJP leaders, including Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, have claimed that their party will rule the Kalaburagi civic body, the Congress has not given up yet.

Published: 10th September 2021 05:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2021 05:58 AM   |  A+A-

BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel inaugurates a programme to felicitate newly-elected BJP corporators, in Kalaburagi on Thursday

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The price for the crucial four seats in the Kalaburagi Mahanagara Palike continues to rise — going up from Rs 75 lakh per seat on Wednesday to Rs 1 crore on Thursday, according to informed sources. The four JDS councillors, meanwhile, continue to remain holed up in a safe location near Bengaluru.

While former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy told The New Indian Express that the decision was left to the councillors themselves, both Congress and BJP leaders confirmed that they are in touch with JDS councillors. Two of the JDS councillors are former Congressmen, while one is a former BJP worker, and the fourth is from JDS.   

While BJP leaders, including Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, have claimed that their party will rule the Kalaburagi civic body, the Congress has not given up yet.  Backchannel talks are also going on between party veterans, with Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge speaking to JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda a few days ago.

He said he would also speak to Kumaraswamy and seek support in the interest of secularism, to keep communal forces out. Gowda, too, confirmed that Kharge had spoken to him.  Former minister Priyank Kharge told The New Indian Express, “We are not in a race with the BJP and will only go by what the Constitution allows by way of a coalition. 

We are asking for support on the grounds that we will do what is good for Kalaburagi. We cannot match them on other parameters,’’ he said, hinting that the Congress will not be able to match the BJP’s power and influence in other areas.    

“It is surprising that they have not yet announced election dates for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor posts. It looks like BJP is waiting for confirmation of support before announcing dates for the mayoral election,’’ Priyank Kharge said. 

The Congress is of the view that JDS members need not support the party, instead, they can just abstain 
from voting. The Kalaburagi Mahanagara Palike  has 55 members and the ruling party needs 28 seats to take control.

The Congress is just one member short. Since legislators and parliamentarians are allowed to vote, the Congress has three votes -- MLAs from Gulbarga, one MLC and RS MP  Mallikarjun Kharge. The BJP has Lok Sabha MP Dr Umesh Jadhav, one MLA and three MLCs, taking its number to 29. 

India Matters


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