Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party President BS Yeddyurappa on Sunday said that he is ready to face elections if the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government decides to dissolve the Assembly. “If the Assembly is dissolved today and we go in for fresh polls there is no doubt that we will win 175 seats [out of 224],” Yeddyurappa told the Hindustan Times in an interview.
However, the former chief minister said the coalition does not have the courage to dissolve the Assembly.
Yeddyurappa claimed that the coalition knows it will lose if a fresh election is held, and hence Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has been meeting Congress leader Siddaramaiah to help save the government. “However, even now at least 18-20 Congress MLAs are unhappy and are not ready to accept Kumaraswamy as their chief minister,” he said. “They might take any decision and I am waiting for that.” But Yeddyurappa claimed that the BJP will not try to persuade the MLAs to take a decision.
Yeddyurappa said that he will call a meeting of Karnataka MPs and MLAs of the BJP after Narendra Modi takes oath as the prime minister.
The former chief minister also asserted that there could be no alliance between the BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular). “We have suffered at their hands once when we were in coalition [from 2006 to 2008],” he said. “We’ve learnt our lesson and we will not repeat it.”
Yeddyurappa said he has no interest in joining the Union Cabinet. He also added that the BJP’s central leadership will decide who becomes Karnataka party chief after his term comes to an end this year.
Yeddyurappa also dismissed reports that the coalition government wants to revive the investigation into a bribery case against him. “Why are you asking this question when there is not an element of truth in this?” he asked. “This matter is over and the Karnataka High Court dismissed it.”
Turmoil in the coalition government
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara on Friday said the members of Cabinet from the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) have reaffirmed their commitment to the coalition. His statement followed reports about the collapse of the state government following the BJP’s massive win in the Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) won just one seat each in the Karnataka Lok Sabha polls. Soon after the results on Thursday, HD Kumaraswamy congratulated Narendra Modi, admitting that the numbers were unexpected. He also thanked all the workers of the coalition parties for their support during the elections.
There has been turmoil in the coalition government over the last several months. The Congress issued a show cause notice to senior leader Roshan Baig on Tuesday after he said party leaders in Karnataka should be held responsible if the Congress performs poorly in the Lok Sabha elections. On May 10, Yeddyurappa had said that 20 Congress legislators were disgruntled with their party’s coalition and might quit soon.