Partners go extra mile to save coalition govt

Cong high command asks top leaders to ensure survival; HDK ready to ‘sacrifice’ party president, says a source

Published: 23rd May 2019 04:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2019 04:34 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  The coalition government in Karnataka is staring at an existential threat in the face of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) comeback at the Centre on Thursday and the resurgence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the State. But they are willing to swallow the bitter pill for the sake of their survival.

While the Congress high command has categorically instructed All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary KC Venugopal and the Coalition Co-ordination Committee leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to ensure survival of the coalition government ‘at any cost and to indulge their coalition partner - the JDS for a smooth show,’ Kumaraswamy went to the extent of reportedly ‘sacrificing’ his party president AH Vishwanath for ensuring harmony between the two coalition partners.

Vishwanath has been periodically raising the bogey against Siddaramaiah. On Tuesday the former had agreed with the disgruntled Congress MLA R Roshan Baig, who had openly attacked Venugopal, Siddaramaiah and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao for mismanaging the party and the flop show in the Lok Sabha elections.

“Venugopal and Siddaramaiah were upset at Baig’s public tirade and name calling. They told Kumaraswamy in a meeting on Tuesday evening that while the Congress would not take the first step to pull out the rug from under the feet of the coalition government, the JDS leader should also ensure that their MLAs don’t criticize the Congress leadership in the open. The three leaders agreed to work together. 
Siddaramaiah even told Kumaraswamy that Vishwanath would not have attacked him without his leaders’ support. At this point the CM said that he was willing to remove his state party president to end bad blood in the two parties,” said sources.

On Wednesday morning, Vishwanath again criticized Siddaramaiah for not doing his duty as the co-ordination committee leader. A livid Siddaramaiah, who was in Mysuru, was heard saying how can he alone be blamed for the party’s debacle in the polls.The voice of dissidence in the Congress against the high command’s decision last year to go with the JDS ‘unconditionally’ is also getting stronger, and the fear is that some MLAs, who are fence sitters, may cross over to the BJP, thereby reducing the coalition government to minority.

“If the coalition falls then Siddaramaiah will become the fall guy in the Congress. He is feeling the heat but isnot showing it yet,” the sources added.

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