JDS minister, BJP leaders meeting was casual: Karnataka CM

Bengaluru: Days after 10 dissenting MLAs gave in their resignation, Karnataka Tourism Minister Sa Ra Mahesh and BJP National General Secretary Muralidhar Rao and senior party leader K S Eshwarappa were reportedly captured coming out of the government guest house.

The visuals were aired on a TV channel, and raised speculations of JD(S) and BJP holding talks on exploring options of forming a government. However, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said it was casual and assured that despite efforts to destabilise, the Congress-JDS coalition was going strong.

Last night, the CM tweeted, “We are confident and prepared for a smooth and fruitful conduct of legislative sessions. “It is unnecessary to give importance to Tourism Minister Sa Ra Mahesh’s casual meeting with BJP leaders at the new building of KK guest house, managed by (state-run) KSTDC which comes under his (Mahesh’s) portfolio.”

Clarifying the matter, Mahesh said he and Eshwarappa were both at the guest house and had a chat over constituency.

JD(S) brushed aside the speculations calling the meeting coincidental as MLAs and Ministers to go to Kumara Krupa Guest House for rest, and asked not to attach any special meaning to it.

Muralidhar Rao denied any discussion took place  and that it was just a coincidence. Don’t go by highly speculative sensationalisation, he said. It is to be noted that BJP and JD(S) had earlier formed a coalition government in 2006 with Kumaraswamy as Chief Minister and Yeddyurappa as his deputy, under a power-sharing formula of 20 months each.

NT Bureau