Congress-JD(S) coalition smells a second chance?
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Congress-JD(S) coalition smells a second chance?

By The Hindu calender  19-Aug-2019

Congress-JD(S) coalition smells a second chance?

Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar’s decision to disqualify three rebel MLAs and explicitly bar them from contesting elections till the expiry of the term of the 15th Legislative Assembly seems to have given a new lease of life for the coalition camp.
“The entire ‘Operation Lotus’ rests on the promise of making rebels Ministers in the new BJP government and they contesting the bypolls on the BJP ticket in the next six months. The Speaker’s ruling demolishes that premise. This will make the remaining rebel MLAs anxious,” said a senior Congress strategist.
Decision welcomed
Indicating the Congress’ stand, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao tweeted that the party “wholeheartedly welcomes the verdict”.
Prior to this development, a section of coalition leaders, led by outgoing Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, are learnt to have opened talks with the rebels since Wednesday night, multiple sources told The Hindu.
This is despite a section of Congress leaders strongly opposing any move to bring back the rebel MLAs, especially after Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah making an emphatic commitment on the floor of the House that “the rebels will not be taken back” at any cost. Another section of Congress leaders, however, seem to be keen on not giving up, as the proposal now is to form a Congress-led coalition government, sources claimed.
A senior Congress leader is said to be heading to Pune, where the rebel MLAs are presently staying, to make attempts to talk to them.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Kumaraswamy met senior Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy — who had initially rebelled but later withdrew his resignation from the Assembly membership — at his residence on Thursday morning. Sources close to Mr. Reddy said the two leaders dealt at length on wooing back rebels MLAs from Bengaluru — three Congress and one JD(S) MLA.


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