Troubles mount for ruling coalition in state after JDS chief resigned

Team Udayavani, Jun 5, 2019, 10:00 AM IST

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Bengaluru: Troubles mounted for the ruling combine in Karnataka with JD(S) state president A H Vishwanath resigning from his post  flaying the coalition’s functioning and two senior Congress MLAs slamming the party state leaders for the Lok Sabha poll debacle.

The developments, even as the leadership of the ruling alliance is looking for a cabinet expansion or reshuffle with an aim to save the H D Kumaraswamy-led one-year government, signalled that coalition worries may not die down soon.

“I take moral responsibility for the (party’s) defeat,” said Vishwanath, who is also reportedly miffed over being sidelined on key issues by his own party.

Vishwanath hit out at his bete noire and coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah for failing to ensure proper coordination between the Congress and the JD(S).

He also alleged that the committee was dancing to the tunes of Siddaramaiah, who has failed to draw a common minimum programme for the smooth functioning of the government.

Vishwanath’s resignation is the first major fallout of the Lok Sabha poll debacle for the coalition with JD(S) and Congress getting a seat each out of 28, even as BJP walked away with 25 seats. BJP backed independent Sumalatha Ambareesh won the Mandya seat.

In the Congress camp, amid simmering discontent, senior legislator and former minister Ramalinga Reddy joined the list of partymen questioning the state leaders for the party’s disastrous show in Lok Sabha polls.

He also alleged that giving priority to “newbies and migrants”, who did not know anything about the Congress, in the party and in the government, has led to the situation.

The attack by Reddy, a seven-time legislator against the party leadership through a series of tweets and facebook post, when coalition leaders are mulling cabinet expansion or reshuffle, makes it amply clear that he too was an aspirant.

Reddy, who was minister in the previous Siddararamiah government, is sulking over not being inducted into the Kumaraswamy-led coalition cabinet.

He also cautioned that if the present situation continued, it would be difficult for seniors to continue in the party.

He said he would not go to anyone’s door seeking ministerial berth and it has to be given for his seniority.

Reddy’s open statement against state congress leaders comes weeks after another senior party legislator Roshan Baig’s public outburst, holding them responsible for the party’s poll rout.

Baig once again Tuesday hit out at KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao and Siddaramaiah, who is also the Congress Legislature Party leader, blaming them for the situation.

“He (Siddaramaiah) is egoistic, he has ego problem, everything has to happen according to him.

I have said I don’t want to become minister in this government when they sent feelers to me, why didn’t they take Ramalinga Reddy or H K Patil, who are seniors- into ministry?” he questioned, as he asserted that he was with Reddy.

“I feel sorry for our party president Rahul Gandhi. These people- KPCC President- immature fellow, flop show, he and CLP leader have to resign first, after that let’s build the party,” he added.

He also sought action against those responsible for the defeat of senior party leader K H Muniyappa, and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda in Lok Sabha polls.

The KPCC has already served a show cause notice to Baig, for attacking congress leaders-AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal, Dinesh Gundu Rao, Siddaramaiah.

He had called Venugopal a ‘buffoon’, Rao a “flop show” and Siddaramaiah ‘arrogant.’

Meanwhile, Chikkaballapur MLA Sudhakar, while pointing out that the senior congress legislators were ministers in the previous government headed by Siddaramaiah, indirectly hit out at Baig and Reddy for attacking the former chief minister for not making them ministers in the coalition government.

Senior JD(S) leader Basavaraj Horatti said Vishwanath was upset over Siddaramaiah as coordination chief not inducting him along with KPPC chief into the committee, adding coalition dharma has to be followed by both sides.

“..I feel that chief minister is in a situation that he has to go by what they (Congress) says,” he said, as he also expressed displeasure over JD(S)’ reported plans to induct, Independent MLA Nagesh and KPJP MLA R Shankar into the cabinet from the party’s share.

The coalition leaders have plans to go for cabinet expansion or reshuffle by making a few ministers to resign and make way for the disgruntled men into the ministry, to save the government from the possible onslaught of the BJP.

Of the total 34 ministerial positions in Karnataka, the Congress and JD(S) have shared 22 and 12 respectively.

Currently, three posts are vacant, two from JD(S) and one from Congress.

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