BJP’s Karnataka chief BS Yeddyurappa on Tuesday said it would be “better” if the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition in the State dissolves the assembly and goes for fresh polls.
The former chief minister also ruled out the possibility of any BJP MLA switching sides to the Congress or the JD(S).
“In 177 assembly constituencies (out of 224) we are in number one place, we have won 25 Lok Sabha constituencies (out of 28), better if they dissolve the assembly and go for fresh elections…we will welcome (if they take that decision),” Yeddyurappa said.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, he asserted not even a single MLA from the Bharatiya Janata Party will go to the Congress or the Janata Dal (Secular) as being claimed by those parties.
“I’m not bothered….it is impossible, they (Congress and JDS) are saying such thing to create confusion,” he added.
The Congress-JD(S) alliance having faced a rout in the Lok Sabha polls with both parties managing to win only one seat each, and growing discontent within the parties with some of their members blaming the partnership for their “worst ever” performance, coalition leaders fear BJP may poach its MLAs by taking advantage of the situation.
Aimed at saving the government, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has swung into action and is personally meeting disgruntled legislators, mainly from the Congress and is making attempts to pacify them.
Rebel Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, who has allegedly been rubbing shoulders with the BJP for some time, has threatened to resign from the party along with some MLAs after the Lok Sabha polls, worrying the coalition leadership as it will trigger a number game in the assembly.
The BJP has predicted the collapse of the coalition and increase in its tally in the assembly after the Lok Sabha poll results, claiming that 20-odd Congress MLAs are unhappy and may take a decision anytime.
Not willing to give any direct response to a question about the BJP forming the government, Yeddyurappa said: “We will wait and see the atmosphere…and will take appropriate decision at an appropriate time.”
Though Karnataka BJP leaders were upbeat about the collapse of the coalition government after the Lok Sabha results, the party central leadership is said to have asked the state leadership not to make any immediate attempts to topple the government, party sources said.
According to the sources, the state leadership has been asked to wait till Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet is sworn in, as any move at this juncture would send a wrong message.
Out of the 224-member Karnataka assembly, the BJP has 105 MLAs, Congress-78, JD(S)-37, BSP (1), Independent (1)(both currently supporting the ruling alliance), KPJP (1) and the Speaker.