The Janata Dal (Secular) may have forged an alliance with the Congress to form the State government, but in Mysuru Zilla Panchayat it continues to hobnob with the Bharatiya Janata Party, spurning overtures of the Congress.
That the JD(S) has no plans to review its partnership with the BJP in the zilla panchayat was in ample evidence during the elections to members of Standing Committees of the local body on Monday.
The JD(S) and BJP, which share power in the hung zilla panchayat, further cemented their partnership to frustrate the Congress’s efforts to secure the post of Chairperson of Standing Committee on Social Justice during the elections.
Even though the elections to the five Standing Committees concluded on Tuesday through consensus, the Congress was forced to settle for the post of chairperson of Standing Committee on Health and Education offered by the JD(S)-BJP combine in a power-sharing arrangement between the three parties.
“We are comfortable with the partnership we presently have with the BJP. We do not wish to tie-up with the Congress,” said M.P. Nagaraj, JD(S) member of the zilla panchayat representing H.D. Kote.
However, the Congress is pinning its hopes on entering into an alliance with the JD(S) in the local body and sharing power. “In the wake of the alliance between the two secular parties at the State level, we are looking forward to partnering with the JD(S) in Mysuru Zilla Panchayat also,” said president of Mysuru Rural District Congress Committee B.J. Vijaykumar.
Mr. Vijaykumar claimed talks had already been held between party leaders at the State level. “Our leaders have already discussed the issue with JD(S) leaders. But, a final decision is still awaited,” he said.
But, Mr. Nagaraj said the JD(S) leaders are averse to joining hands with the Congress.
“We have won our seats fighting against the Congress. How can we join hands with them?” he said.
JD(S) seems more comfortable in an alliance with a junior partner like the BJP against the Congress, which has more members than the JD(S) in the zilla panchayat.
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