Monday, November 29, 1999

JD-S denies secret pact with BJP

News posted by www.newsinfoline.com

Bangalore, June 18 (IANS) A day after ensuring business baron Vijay Mallya's win in the Rajya Sabha poll from Karnataka with the help of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) Friday denied it was cozying up to the state's ruling party.'We supported Mallya and not the BJP,' JD-S state president and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy told reporters in Mysore, about 130 kms from here.He denied the Congress charge that JD-S had entered into a secret pact with BJP and hence it had supported Mallya and not the Congress, which would have helped the party to win one more seat in Thursday's poll.State Congress president R.V. Deshpande said Thursday that the JD-S and the BJP had entered into a tacit understanding to support Mallya. 'This alliance is a harbinger of things to come,' he said.Liquor baron Mallya contested as a JD(S)-backed Independent and defeated Congress nominee T.V. Maruthi with the help of BJP votes.BJP's former president M. Venkaiah Naidu and state leader Ayanur Manjunath and Congress general secretary and former central minister Oscar Fernandes were the other three winners in the polling held for four seats.Since the JD-S had only 28 votes, including that of one Independent, BJP helped Mallya to win by transferring its second preference votes to him.Kumaraswamy and his father, former prime minister and JD-S president H.D. Deve Gowda blamed the Congress for losing an opportunity to win the second Rajya Sabha seat from Karnataka.Gowda told reporters in Bangalore that he had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on May 19 seeking her support for a JD-S candidate in the Rajya Sabha poll.'There was no response,' he said.Alternatively, it was proposed that JD-S would support the Congress to win the second seat in return for backing of the second JD-S candidate in the poll to the state legislative council held early this month.The Congress did not agree to this proposal also as JD-S opposed the re-nomination of B.K. Hariprasad.'We told them we will support any candidate other than Hariprasad. The Congress did not accept our offer. It committed political suicide,' Kumaraswamy said.Both the father and son blamed state Congress leaders for the failure of the efforts for the electoral understanding.'Local Congress leaders opposed the two parties cooperating in the elections,' Gowda said.Kumaraswamy said those who had joined Congress from the 'Janata Parivar' (JD-S or the earlier Janata Party) were against the two parties reaching an understanding.'Pseudo-Congressmen have hijacked Congress,' he alleged.Deshpande and leader of the Congress opposition in the state Assembly Siddaramaiah were earlier in the Janata parivar.

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