Cong should back BJP rather than Sena in M'rashtra: HDK

Cong should back BJP rather than Sena in M'rashtra: HDK

Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister and JD-S leader H. D. Kumaraswamy addresses during 'Meet the Press' programme in Bengaluru on Nov 2, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Bengaluru, Nov 19 (IANS) Former Karnataka chief minister and JD-S president H.D. Kumaraswamy has favoured the Congress supporting the BJP in forming the new government in Maharashtra rather than aligning with the Shiv Sena, which is a hardcore Hindutva party, an official said on Tuesday. "It is better the Congress supports a soft Hindutva like the BJP than a hardcore Shiv Sena in forming the next government in Maharashtra as both the right-wing parties are two sides of the same coin," Kumaraswamy's media advisor Chandan Dhore told IANS quoting him. Kumaraswamy's remark was in response to a media query on the impasse in forming a new government in the neighbhouring state nearly a month after assembly elections were held on October 21 and the pre-poll alliance parties (BJP and Sena) falling apart over the rotation of the chief minister's post. "He (Kumaraswamy) was asked for his opinion on a "secular' Congress and its ally NCP (National Congress Party) mulling over tying up with a "communal" Sena in forming the next government in Maharashtra, as the former supported his party (JD-S) in forming the coalition government in Karnataka in May 2018," Dhore recalled. Kumaraswamy was at Belagavi on Monday in the state's northwest region, about 500 km from Bengaluru, to campaign for his party's candidates contesting in the December 5 by-elections in 15 assembly segments. Though the BJP won 105 seats of the 288 in Maharashtra and Sena 56 as allies, a bitter row over sharing the power prevented them from forming the new government despite having a combined strength of 161 members, 16 more than the simple majority of 145 as a halfway mark. As opposition allies, the Congress won 44 and NCP 54 in the Maharashstra assembly elections, whose results were declared on October 24. A fractured verdict in the May 2018 Karnataka assembly elections forced the Congress and JD-S to enter into a post-poll alliance to form a coalition government under Kumaraswamy as secular allies to keep a "communal" BJP out of power. "If the Congress, which has been fighting us (JD-S) for over three decades in Karnataka, could offer unconditional support to form a secular coalition government in our state, it can as well do the same with the BJP so to keep a hardcore Hindutva party like Sena from power," said Kumaraswamy with sarcasm. The fledgling 14-month-old coalition government in Karnataka, however, fell on July 23 after Kumaraswamy lost the trust vote in the monsoon session of the assembly as 17 rebel legislators of the alliance parties (Congress and JD-S) resigned and abstained from the House when the crucial voting was held on the confidence motion to prove he had majority in the 225-member House. For the ensuing by-elections in the state, the Congress and JD-S are contesting separately in a triangular contest against the ruling BJP, which fielded 12 of the 17 defectors in wresting the seats from the former allies.

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