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Siddaramaiah predicts fall of BJP govt, mid-term polls

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Press Trust of India Bengaluru
Expressing confidence that Congress would win all 15 constituencies in the coming bypolls in Karnataka, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday predicted the collapse of the BJP government and possibility of mid-term polls in the state.
Calling Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa a "weakChief Minister", the Congress Legislature Party leader said he feels "pity" for him.
"BJP has formed the government with the support of 105 MLAs. They don't have 113 MLAs. It is a minority government, that too formed immorally by luring Congress-JD(S) legislators.
The government was not formed with publicmandate," Siddaramaiah said.
Speaking to reporters in Raichur, he sought to know how the government would survive if Congress wins all 15 seats.
"There are then chances that election (mid-term polls) may come," he said.
The bypolls to 15 of the 17 seats represented bythe disqualified MLAs, which the Election Commission had earlierdecided to defer until the Supreme Court decides on their plea, challenging their disqualification, has now been scheduled for December 5.
The 15 constituencies that will go to the polls are Athani, Kagwad, Gokak, Yellapura, Hirekerur, Ranibennur, Vijaynagara, Chickballapura, K R Pura, Yeshwanthpura, Mahalakshmi Layout, Shivajinagara,Hosakote, K R Pete and Hunsur.
Among the 15 constituencies, 12 wererepresented by Congress and three by JD(S).
Winning most seats in the coming by-elections is crucial for BJP to stay in power.
The ruling party has 105MLAs (including one independent) in the assembly, whose currentstrength is 208 (after 17 disqualifications).
While the Congress' strength is 66, JD(S) has 34 MLAsin the assembly, that also consists of one BSP member, a nominated member and the Speaker.
The actual strength of the assembly is 225 and thehalf way mark is 113.
BJP will need to win at least six seatsin the bypolls for 15 constituencies to remain in majority inthe assembly, which will still have two vacant seats (Maskiand R R Nagar).
Siddaramaiah, who termed Yediyurappa as a "weakChief Minister", hit out at the BJP governments at the centre and state for its "failure" in providing relief to those affected by floods and delay in release of funds from union government.
"Yediyurappa doesn't have the courage to go to Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and seek central relief for flood.
At least if he takes us to them,wewill raise our voices. That's why I have said Yediyurappa is a weakChief Minister.
I feel pity for him, he is being tortured. Hisfeathers have been clipped by central leaders (BJP)," he said.
Questioning whether the government was functioning, he said he was not aware if there were any ministers in it, as they were "not to be seen."

One of them was camping at Mysuru to oversee the Dasara festival in that city, he said.
Karnataka has sent a flood damage estimate of Rs 35,160.81 crore to the centre and is waiting forthe relief.
As many as 103 taluks in 22 districts were affecteddue to floods last month, in which over 80 people were killed.
Around seven lakh people were shifted to safe areas and tens of thousands of houses were damaged.

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First Published: Sep 30 2019 | 7:20 PM IST

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