BENGALURU: Leaders of the Congress and JD(S) on Tuesday held a joint press conference in a clear attempt to put up a show of unity. Despite their attempts to clarify that all is well between the rivals-turned-partners, it wasn’t just Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara who was missing from the scene: The camaraderie between the leaders, especially JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda and Congress leader Siddaramaiah, was missing too. Under the compulsion to portray themselves as a joint force, Siddaramaiah and Gowda shared the stage, but the duo was indifferent to each other.
“Parameshwara could not be part of this joint press conference because of a pre-scheduled engagement. There is no need to attach any other meaning to it,” said Dinesh Gundu Rao, president, KPCC, even before he was questioned by the media. The statement was reiterated by Parameshwara who took to Twitter after the press meet.
“I could not participate... because of a prior family commitment. Senior leaders of the coalition have discussed at length and have decided on strategies. Likewise, we will labour together in the polls.” The attempt, however, failed to answer questions on whether the Deputy Chief Minister’s disappointment over Congress conceding the Tumakuru seat to JD(S) was resolved.
During the press conference, while Siddaramaiah — who spoke first — turned towards Gowda to assert his statements, Gowda maintained a stoic look. When it was Gowda’s turn to speak, Siddaramaiah sat cross-handed almost slipping into sleep.
The leaders refused to compliment or acknowledge each other when the other person spoke. “There is no need to speculate on differences. Aren’t Siddaramaiah and I sitting next to each other? We have drawn the curtains on suspicion about the unity of the coalition,” Gowda said.