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BJP, JD(S) deny merger in Karnataka amid speculation

BJP, JD(S) deny merger in Karnataka amid speculation

Former Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy, Image source: IANS

Bengaluru : BJP and JD(S) denied on Sunday any merger between them ahead of the next Assembly election in the state.

Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (Secular) (JD (S)) in separate statements stopped speculations doing rounds.

"JD (S) merging with BJP is a rumour and far from truth. Its speculative. JD-S is extending us issue-based support like removing legislative Council chairman Prathapchandra Shetty and the land reforms bill," said state Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa in a statement in Kannada here.

H. D. Kumaraswamy, JD (S) state president and former Chief Minister denied and termed it as a baseless rumour.

"Speculative reports about our party (JD (S)) merging with BJP is imaginary. At the most, we may extend issue-based support to the BJP if need be in the public interest. As a party of Kannadigas with self-esteem, we will never think of a political merger," said Kumaraswamy in a tweet in Kannada.

However Yediyurappa's denial came hours after BJP's legislator Arvind Limbavali told reporters in Kannada earlier in the day that "there was a possibility of some party merging with a national party before the next assembly elections, without taking names of the parties".

"The news about JD (S) merger with BJP is a lie. State assembly elections are 30 months away. It is too premature to talk about the merger," asserted Yediyurappa.

The opposition Congress slammed the JD (S) for supporting the ruling party in passing the Land Reforms Bill in the Council early this month and in moving the no-confidence motion against Shetty as Chairman as he a Congress MLC.

Merger speculation rose after senior JD (S) legislator in the Council Basavaraj Horatti said at Hubballi earlier in the day about the regional party's alliance with the BJP.

JD (S) supremo H. D. Deve Gowda, however, ruled out his party's support to the anti-cow slaughter bill of the ruling BJP in the Council after it was passed in the Assembly recently amid walkout by it and boycott by the Congress.

"As JD (S) is not extending support to the anti-cow slaughter bill, we are planning to amend the law through an ordinance," reiterated Yediyurappa.

IANS report with edits

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