BENGALURU: The bickering among the coalition Congress-JDS leaders has almost become an everyday affair. On the other hand, BJP leaders continue to insist that the government will not survive beyond May 23. But none of this seem to unsettle Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.
The CM seems confident of ironing out differences within the coalition and overcoming any threat to the stability of his government.
Rubbishing the claims of BJP leaders that many Congress MLAs are likely to quit the party after the Lok Sabha election results are announced, the CM was of the firm opinion that all such talk is BJP’s creation.
“They are trying to create confusion about the stability of the coalition government to derive political advantage in the Lok Sabha elections. If at all any Congress MLA wanted to shift loyalties towards BJP, they would have done it long ago. Why will they do it after the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections results?” the CM said, dismissing any threat to his government.
Kumaraswamy was, however, candid in admitting that the coalition partners have not worked for each other in all the 28 Lok Sabha constituencies. The JDS-Congress combine, according to him, would have won 25 seats if they had worked together, keeping aside their differences.
“... I am not in the cheap habit of gaining political mileage out of such statements. We should not forget that Kharge’s is a character that is beyond any caste or party,” the CM said. During campaigning in Chincholi, Kumaraswamy has suggested that Kharge was eligible for the CM’s post, but had sacrificed it.
Congress insiders suggest that Kumaraswamy’s statement was a deliberate attempt at getting back at Siddaramaiah for all the clamour being raised by his supporters in the last few weeks for his return to the top post. Mallikarjun Kharge’s name was doing the rounds for the top post after Congress registered a thumping majority in the 2013 assembly elections in Karnataka.
Siddaramaiah was ultimately chosen for the top post. Kumaraswamy’s jibe, Congressmen and JD(S) insiders agree, was directed at Siddaramaiah.
“Siddaramaiah should also realise that there are other leaders in the Congress who are on par with him. He isn’t the only formidable CM candidate,” said a JD(S) leader. While Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy could be seething, one man seems pretty pleased with the development but chose to downplay it.
“Siddaramaiah and I share a good rapport since his days as Deputy CM when he was with the JD(S). I am grateful for his affection, but I am not an aspirant for the CM post,” Revanna said.