Bengaluru: Asserting that Congress would win two-thirds of the 15 assembly seats going to bypolls on December 5, state party president Dinesh Gundu Rao on Monday claimed the outcome would not bring stability to the BJP government in the state.
He also said the Congress was prepared to face a midterm poll if the situation arose, adding none of the parties, however, wanted a snap election to the assembly.
Rao claimed BJP would get only lesser number of seats in the bypolls and the outcome would make the government instable while expressing confidence that Congress would win 10-12 seats.
“You (BJP) destabilise a government and then you want to form a stable government, it is not going to be possible.
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There will be no stability in this government,” he told PTI.
The Congress and JDS have accused the BJP of engineering the rebellion by 17 of their MLAs that led to the fall of the government headed by H D Kumaraswamy in July.
The BJP, which came to power following the fall of the Congress-JDS coalition ministry, needs to win at least six of the 15 assembly seats in the bypolls, necessitated by the disqualification of the 17 MLAs, to keep its majority in tact.
In a democracy, when no stable government can be formed, ultimately we will have to go back to the people. Let us see what happens after the bypoll results, how things works, what all happens. There may be unforeseen developments like in Maharashtra, Rao added.
On possibilities of a mid-term election, he said: ..nobody wants election, BJP does not want midterm poll, neither do Congress MLAs want, neither do JD(S) MLAs, no MLAs want midterm polls. If it happens it happens, and at that time everybody will have to face it, Rao said.
His comments come at a time when several leaders, including Congress Legislature Party Leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah, have been predicting the collapse of B S Yediyurappa government after the bypolls and the possibility of mid-term elections to the assembly.
Rao also pointed to disgruntlement within the BJP over giving party tickets to the disqualified Congress and JDS legislators and said There is a split within the BJP also, so I don’t see a stability coming about through this bypolls.”
BJP has fielded 13 of the disqualified MLAs in the byelections after 16 of them joined the party.
Asked about the role that the Congress might play if the government falls short of a majority, Rao said, lets see, I don’t want to speculate, anything can happen. You have seen what is happening in Maharashtra
In politics nothing was impossible, except the Congress going with BJP. “That’s impossible, he said breaking into a laugh.
On whether the option of joining hands with JD(S) again was still open, he said I can’t say anything now. I can’t predict, politics is the art of the possibles.”
Congress and JD(S) ran the coalition government for 14 months in a post-poll tie-up after the 2018 elections threw up a hung assembly. They continued the understanding for the Lok Sabha polls but both were routed by the BJP.
The two parties, which blamed each other for the collapse of the government, have parted ways later and are contesting the bypolls separately.
However, in what is being perceived as JD(S) softening its stand on the BJP, JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda has recently said he wanted the Yediyurappa government to complete its term as it would give him time to build his party.
His son and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy too had recently said JD(S) would not try to dislodge the BJP government in the state.
Rao said defeating the disqualified MLAs was the main agenda of the Congress in the bypolls as they had ‘betrayed’ the party despite being given importance and the rank and file felt they needed to be taught a lesson.
By defeating them in turn we also want to defeat BJP, who engineered the defection by using undemocratic means, he said.
Of of 15 constituencies going to polls, 12 were represented by Congress and three by JD(S).
Agreeing that most of the disqualified legislators were the face of the Congress in the constituencies they represented, Rao said, the clout they enjoyed was because they were groomed by the party.
He claimed the sentiment of the public was against them though they may have “money power” and votes that they got from Congress supporters last time may not get transferred to BJP, their current party, as they could not give a proper reason for quitting the party.
He also maintained that the disqualified MLAs were not liked by everyone in the BJP.
Rao rejected reports of dissidence within the Congress saying there may be difference of opinion on some issues thats all.
I don’t see any big complication. we have held discussion with leaders like K H Muniyappa and B K Hariprasad on issues. We are a democratic party and in democracy there should be decent, he said in response to a question.
At a recent party meeting, Muniyappa and Hariprasad had hit out at Siddaramaiah and Rao accusing them of “unilateral style of functioning” and accountability not being fixed for the party’s debacle in Lok Sabha polls.