BENGALURU: Putting the onus of ensuring the smooth run of the coalition government on Congress top brass, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has requested Congress president Rahul Gandhi to put an end to the coalition troubles being caused by former chief minister Siddaramaiah and other state Congress leaders.
Kumaraswamy called on Rahul in New Delhi as a goodwill gesture on the occasion of the coalition government completing 100 days on Thursday. He also urged Rahul to give a go-ahead at the earliest for cabinet expansion and appointment of heads for boards and corporations as part of the measures to quell dissidence within Congress which is threatening the stability of the coalition government.
Though the meeting lasted for a mere 15 minutes and Kumaraswamy speaking to reporters said that politics was not discussed, he has nevertheless conveyed a clear message to Rahul on ensuring the stability of the government.
Rahul who gave a patient hearing is expected to send a strong message to state Congress leaders through AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal, who is set to hold meetings with state Congress leaders on September 1 and 2 in Bengaluru.
According to sources, Kumaraswamy expressed his displeasure at the frequent troubles triggered by Siddaramaiah, with particular reference to the ripples caused by his recent statement expressing intent to return as the CM. The statement has led to many of Siddaramaiah’s loyalist MLAs and ministers openly supporting his statement.
During his stay at a Naturopathy Centre in Ujire a couple of months ago, Siddaramaiah had caused similar discomfiture to Kumaraswamy by expressing doubts about survival of the coalition government beyond the coming Lok Sabha election.
Kumaraswamy and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda have adopted the strategy of downplaying Siddaramaiah’s role in the coalition set-up and getting the irritants in their path removed by directly approaching Rahul. The ploy has raised questions about the authority of Siddaramaaih as the head of the coordination committee.
The CM had his way and presented a fresh budget by getting Rahul’s nod brushing aside Siddaramaiaah’s opposition.Siddaramaiah’s 10-day tour of Europe starting from September 3 also came up during the meeting as there are apprehensions of his supporters striking discordant notes as they did during Siddaramaiah’s stay at the nature cure centre.
HDK: Even Deshpande wants to be CM
Kumaraswamy on Thursday played down Siddaramaiah’s recent statement expressing his intent to be the CM again. “He (Siddaramaiah) is a senior leader. If he expresses desire to become CM, what’s wrong in that? The coalition government is secure under the leadership of Siddaramaiah,” he said. Then turning to Revenue Minister R V Deshpande by his side, the CM said, “Deshpande is a senior leader. He too has a desire to become CM. There is no need to interpret it in a different way.”