Congress denies any hand in Karnataka crisis

The Congress on Saturday denied it had joined hands with the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) to bring down the Bharatiya Jananta Party (BJP) government in Karnataka.

Congress general secretary B.K. Hariprasad said the BJP and the JD-S had joined hands to defeat the Congress in the Rajya Sabha elections in June and the two parties have now fallen apart.

"They worked together in getting a Rajya Sabha member elected three months back... There may be some misunderstanding on a monetary question," Hariprasad told IANS. Hariprasad said the BJP was trying to deflect attention of people from "some of the major scandals" by using its present problems.

He also said that son of a minister had been arrested in a bribery case while chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa was facing allegations of denotifying land to favour his son.

The BJP has accused the Congress and the JD-S for instigating the present political crisis in Karnataka, saying the two parties were misleading some of its legislators.

The Congress on Friday criticised Mr Yeddyurappa for not being able to run a smooth government. The party said the chief minister has faced repeated problems from his own legislators.

JD-S leader H.D. Kumaraswamy Saturday claimed he had the numbers to defeat the BJP government in the confidence vote in the assembly slated for Monday. He also denied he held any discussions with the Congress regarding government formation in case the present BJP government falls.

The 29-month-old BJP government in Karnataka was last week reduced to a minority in the 225-member assembly after 19 lawmakers, including 14 from the ruling party and five Independents, submitted a joint letter to the governor withdrawing support and expressing lack of confidence in Mr Yeddyurappa.

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