Leaders of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) – allies who jointly rule Karnataka – entered into a public war of words over demands by a section of Congressmen for the return of their legislature party leader Siddaramiah to the Chief Minister’s chair.
President of JD(S) Karnataka unit Adagooru H Vishwanath hit out at the former CM Siddaramiah, demanding that he follow ‘coalition dharma’ as the CM’s chair – currently occupied by HD Kumaraswamy – was not empty. He also asked Siddaramaiah’s track record when he was the CM of the state between 2013-2018.
Several Congress leaders comprising home minister MB Patil have in the last few days been leading a chorus for the return of Siddaramaiah to the CM’s post. On Monday, Congress MLA, ST Somashekar, who is the Chairman of Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), again reiterated that the former CM was the ideal candidate for heading the state and declared that any criticism of Siddaramaiah was akin to ‘dogs barking when an elephant marches.’
Siddaramaiah who also heads the co-ordination committee set up to ensure proper running of the government, took to social media platform Twitter to lambast the JD(S) President saying “..Will raise the jealousy ridden remarks of H Vishwanath in the co-ordination committee meeting. First, it was GT Deve Gowda now it is Vishwanath. Next who knows? It is better than JDS leadership reins in such irresponsible comments directed at me.”
GT Deve Gowda, who had defeated Siddaramaiah in the Chamundeshwari constituency, had stated JDS voters might have voted for BJP rather than the Congress candidate in Mysore.
Siddaramaiah also went onto claim in a series of tweets that it was coalition dharma which was preventing him from speaking out. ‘Vishwanath is known for his irresponsible statements.’
However, the regional party’s state President hit back saying it was the former CM’s culture to address everybody disrespectfully in singular and make irresponsible comments.
This verbal spat comes amidst claims by the opposition BJP that after the May 23 results, there will be a alter in the state government.
KC Venugopal, AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, dismissed any threat to the state government and said it would complete its full five-year term. “The BJP can only dream of coming to power the coalition will complete its full five-year term. Ever since the coalition came to power they have been giving dates when the government will dissolve,” Venugopal said.