JD-S may back Manmohan government in confidence vote

July 8th, 2008 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Bangalore, July 8 (IANS) Ignored at the national level, battered in the Karnataka assembly polls and facing desertions from legislators, the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) is likely to back the Manmohan Singh government if it seeks a confidence vote in the Lok Sabha following Left parties’ withdrawal of support. “We will discuss the issue in the party and take an appropriate decision,” JD-S president and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda told reporters.

“Ours is a small party,” he said.

JD-S has only two members in the Lok Sabha, Gowda himself and S. Shivanna. The other JD-S member, M.P. Ravindra Kumar from Kerala, split with Gowda in 2006 over the JD-S aligning with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form a coalition government in Karnataka.

The Congress’ desperate need for each vote in the Lok Sabha to save the Manmohan Singh government presents JD-S an opportunity to try to work out an electoral understanding witn it for the parliamentary polls due early next year in the face of the BJP wooing JD-S legislators.

The JD-S won only 28 seats in the May polls to the 225-member Karnataka assembly. It has already lost two legislators to the ruling BJP and more are expected to desert the party in the coming days.

The two legislators have resigned their assembly membership and will contest the by-elections on a BJP ticket.

“It is time for all secular forces to come together to defeat these people in the by-polls,” Gowda had said, reacting to the desertions which had hit the Congress party too.

Two Congress legislators have so far resigned from the assembly and joined the BJP that is trying to reduce its dependence on independents for survival.

The BJP won 110 seats and formed the government May 30 with the support of six independents, five of whom have been made cabinet ministers.

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