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Karnataka political crisis

Dec 15, 2019, 02.43 AM IST



Karnataka bypolls: Congress leaders spring into action as JD(S) pact looms post polls

Several senior Congress leaders had taken a backseat in campaigning, giving an impression that the party’s victory or loss would be the sole responsibility of the former CM. But with speculations of the coming together of the former allies once again, hopes have sprouted among some leaders of giving a shot at the CM’s post in the event the BJP was reduced to a minority.

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  • Sibling Satish Jarkiholi, also a Congress MLA, is backing Lakhan, urging voters that they should not forgive Ramesh for the “betrayal.” Just before starting the day’s campaigning in Gokak, Satish told ET that he decided to field his younger brother against the elder brother to ensure Congress’s victory.

    The 60-year-old legislator, who created a flutter in state politics by rebelling against the NCP and joining hands with the BJP, spent Saturday at his brother's home in Mumbai even as his uncle and NCP chief Sharad Pawar attended a meeting where most of the party MLAs were present.

    The Supreme Court rejected an urgent demand by the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress to order the Devendra Fadnavis government to face an immediate floor test in the Maharashtra assembly to prove its majority.

    In the clipping that has gone viral, Yediyurappa has hit out at party leaders for lack of support in "saving" the BJP government and not recognising the "sacrifice" of disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs, because of whom they could come to power. Kumaraswamy said he has decided to file a petition in court based on the contents of the clipping.

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the disqualification of the MLAs -- 14 of the Congress and three belonging to the JDS -- by the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar but allowed them to contest the December bypolls. The court struck down the portion of the order of then Speaker by which the legislators were disqualified till the end of the 15th Karnataka Assembly in 2023.

    Having brought his party out of a virtual existential crisis ahead of the Assembly polls, Pawar's efforts suffered a setback, albeit momentarily, when nephew Ajit Pawar shocked him by aligning with the BJP to form the government. That regime lasted just 80 hours, before Ajit quit as deputy CM citing personal reasons, leaving Devendra Fadnavis, into his second stint as the CM high and dry.

    The assurance came from the Chief Minister as 16 disqualified Congress-JD(S) legislators were welcomed into the BJP fold, a day after the Supreme Court paved the way for them to contest the Assembly bypolls in the state. "We will keep up the promise made to you word to word and won't betray you," Yediyurappa said welcoming the disqualified MLAs.

    On the matter of floor test for Maharashtra, the SC referred to its past decisions on Karnataka, Uttarakhand, UP & Jharkhand where it had ordered similar exercise in times of political crisis. The apex court also mentioned its 2016 verdict in the case of Union of India vs Harish Chandra Singh Rawat in which it ordered the former CM to take a 'vote of confidence'.

    A section of the Congress leaders wants the 71-year-old leader to continue to lead the party and considers his leadership indispensable in the present scenario, while rival camps have been gunning for his head and pushing for a change in leadership.

    Addressing a poll rally, PM Modi asserted that he never cared about vote-bank politics, but have always believed in working for the welfare of people.

    The recent statements of JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda and his son HD Kumaraswamy taking a soft stand on chief minister BS Yediyurappa, has led to speculation that the two political rivals may patch up and come together.

    Both BA ‘Byrathi’ Basavaraja (KR Puram) and ST Somashekar (Yeshwanthpur) -- were loyal followers of Congress leader Siddaramaiah before they joined other lawmakers who resigned their Assembly membership causing the JD(S)-Congress regime’s fall in July this year.

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