Even after settlement of BS Yediyurappa’s government, who is now comfortable with regard to stability of his regime, the JDS is still fearing over the fate of its remained 34 MLAs. It is fearing that BJP may continue arm-twist tactics and estimating at least a dozen of its MLAs are on the wedge of defection.
Even after getting three of its former MLAs disqualified almost as a message to others in the party, JDS is still worried about more defections. JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda had even expelled H Vishwanath, Gopalaiah and Narayanagowda for anti-party activities, accusing them of hobnobbing with the BJP but it doesn’t look like the party is breathing easy yet.
“At least 12 MLAs are still in touch with the BJP and that is a matter of concern,” said a senior party office-bearer adding that the possibility of arm-twisting tactics is not being ruled out.
The mutual dislike that BS Yeddiyurappa and H D Kumaraswamy share owing to their previous coalition stint isn’t helping JDS. It is almost like the party is convinced that Yediyurappa, who insisted that he will not indulge in politics of hate after taking oath as chief minister, will ensure that the JDS legislative party led by Kumaraswamy will be further reduced in numbers.
The BJP is sitting precariously on the edge as far as the number game goes in the assembly with just 105 MLAs. “The plan seems to be to either break the JDS completely or threaten it into extending outside support to the government. If push comes to shove, the party leadership may even agree to back the BJP government,” a senior functionary of the JDS said.
While Deve Gowda is pushing his cadres to work extra hard in Hunsur, Mahalakshmi Layout and KR Pete — the three constituencies where JDS MLAs were disqualified — the focus is also on keeping the flock together.
Apart from winning seats in the bypoll, the JDS’ focus also remains on getting Deve Gowda elected to the Rajya Sabha but it would require the help of either the Congress or the BJP’s spare votes.