BENGALURU: The Congress high command wants no threats to the JD(S)-Congress coalition government, from outside or within. State leaders KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, Deputy CM G Parameshwara, co-ordination committee chief Siddaramaiah along with AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, KC Venugopal, who met AICC president on Wednesday night, have been asked to do everything they can to keep the HD Kumaraswamy-led government floating.
The state leaders also handed over a list of four names for the upcoming bypolls to the Karnataka Legislative Council. Out of more than 20 aspirants, four names were, zeroed in on for the three vacant posts out of which one has been given to JD(S), sources pointed out.
While Parameshwara has pushed for Nivedith Alva, former minister Ramalinga Reddy was in New Delhi on Wednesday to lobby for M C Venugopal and U B Venkatesh. Nazeer Ahmed’s name has also been suggested to Rahul Gandhi who will pick the final two candidates.
The state leaders met Rahul Gandhi and held talks for an hour over MLC candidate selection apart from the ongoing political tussle in the state.
Sources privy to the meeting suggest that while Rahul Gandhi has asked state leaders to address concerns voiced by MLAs, especially with regards to fund allocation and coordination within the government, a firm message has been given to keep the coalition going.
The sources said the Congress high command asked the state leaders to sort the issues at the earlier.
“It was Siddaramaiah and Parameshwara’s responsibility to ensure that the coalition government runs smoothly, but they have failed to such an extent that the Chief Minister had to intervene,” said a senior Congress leader. Allowing dissent within the party to grow has only benefitted the BJP, the leader added.
With candidate selection for MLC polls as the primary agenda, state leaders held a meeting at Venugopal’s residence before meeting the Congress chief.
While it was suggested that the party choose candidates from the same community as those who have vacated the seats, a final list of four have been handed over to Rahul Gandhi.
An official announcement is likely to be made soon from the central leadership.
Satish Jarkiholi who was in Delhi to meet the high command also spoke to the media and expressed contentment over the AICC chief being apprised of their concerns.
“Rahul Gandhi now knows of the concerns we have raised. Our state leaders have been asked to address and solve them. The high command has asked them to take everybody along,” Satish Jarkiholi said.
With not enough numbers to threaten the Congress on the one hand, and a smaller rebellion, especially from Ballari, brewing against them within the party, the Jarkiholi brothers are likely to be pushed to fall in line. With the high command making it clear that it wants state leaders to come up with solutions, a truce is likely to be arrived at between warring factions of the Congress.
Ramesh Jarkiholi visiting an ailing D K Shivakumar at a hospital in Bengaluru on the day Rahul Gandhi asked for the rebellion to be quelled, is being seen as an indication that the brothers may, after all, be willing to take a step back.
While Siddaramaiah and Parameshwara are yet to find a middle path to address the issues plaguing the Congress, the high command has made it clear that solutions, and not problems, are what they expect from its senior leaders.