On Sunday night, two Muslim leaders, each from Congress and Janta Dal(Secular) were quietly discussing their journey from science graduation to political career at a Delhi’s suburban hotel.
One of them, Ghulab Nabi Azad, a former Jammu and Kashmir CM and incumbent leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha while other a JD(S) supremo H D Devegowda’s confidante and party’s general secretary Danish Ali, who is still eyeing a Rajya Sabha berth for a decade.
At the meeting, however, the two agendas dominated: saving secular credentials and Kannada pride as they had their share of tea. This even as the two joked about having more Hindu friends in their outfits followed by a banter over food delights in the southern state.
On Tuesday, when the results poured in, it was Azad who first rang up Danish at 12.30 p.m. and brought Siddaramiah on the phone call. At the time, the BJP had already clocked 104 seats while the Congress and JD(S) were each hovering between 60 and 40 seats.
“I am on board,” Siddaramiah told Danish in a measured tone as the latter repeatedly reminded him of him dancing and singing at wedding ceremonies during his stint at JDS under Devegowda and also politely asked if he had any problem with Kumaraswamy being the CM-pick.
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Danish also conveyed that that BSP supremo Mayawati has also given a green signal to bring Congress along. The message was quickly conveyed to Devegowda and Azad rushed to inform his party members.
The two leaders decided that they must jointly reach the governor house to claim a stake to the government. Within hours, both Siddaramiah and Kumaraswamy reached Raj Bhawan.