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Gowda Jr fires warning shots

HD Kumaraswamy tells the BJP not to underestimate the “power” of the Janata Dal (Secular) President H D Deve Gowda, reports BR Srikanth.

india Updated: Nov 08, 2007 23:30 IST
BR Srikanth
BR Srikanth
Hindustan Times

BS Yediyurappa’s prayer at the Vaishno Devi temple in the morning was answered by noon, but his wish of heading the BJP’s first government in the south came true with a warning.

His predecessor HD Kumaraswamy told the BJP on Thursday not to underestimate the “power” of the Janata Dal (Secular) President H D Deve Gowda.

The JD (S), with 57 MLAs in the 224-member Assembly, will be a partner in a coalition government in the state for the third time since 2004.

Yediyurappa’s exercise of constituting the ministry will begin soon after he returns to Bangalore and a meeting with Governor Rameshwar Thakur is held on Friday.

The swearing-in will be next week though meetings of BJP legislators and office-bearers are slated for Friday or Saturday. “We expect an invitation (from the Governor) in two to three days,” BJP spokesperson S. Suresh Kumar said.

The formation of the government will also bring an end to President’s rule in Karnataka since October 9.

As celebrations began at Yediyurappa’s residence and the BJP offices, the Dal (S) leaders gathered to discuss sharing of portfolios at chief H.D. Deve Gowda’s home.

“I wish to personally thank the President, the Prime Minister and the Governor for giving us a chance to form the government,” Kumaraswamy said before the meeting.

“I hope our friends in the BJP will not show haste as they did earlier but consult Mr Deve Gowda on administrative matters. They should not underestimate his power. They should not continue the humiliation they heaped on me recently,” he said, referring to the BJP’s allegation that he had gone back on his promise to hand over power after his 20-month term on October 3.

Kumaraswamy’s elder brother H.D. Revanna, an aspirant for deputy chief minister, reminded the BJP of “12 conditions” that Deve Gowda had set to counter an “MoU” sent earlier by BJP leaders to the Dal (S) chief.

“I won’t comment on their conditions,” Revanna said. “You must ask them (the BJP leaders). You are only writing about conditions made by my father. I will go by his decision (on whether to join the new ministry or not).”

Dal (S) state unit president Merajuddin Patel said the BJP must consider Deve Gowda’s conditions “seriously”.

Dal (S) sources said most of its legislators were against Revanna’s elevation to the position of leader of the legislature party and deputy chief minister. They prefer Kumaraswamy.

First Published: Nov 08, 2007 23:25 IST