Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara on Thursday said that differences between the ruling coalition partners, if any, would be discussed and resolved at a Congress-JD(S) coordination committee meeting, which is likely to be held in Bengaluru on July 1. On the raging controversy over former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s remarks doubting the longevity of the coalition government, Parameshwara, who is also the Pradesh Congress chief said, the issue was left to the party high command.
“There is a possibility that the coordination committee will be meeting on July 1, and anything related to the differences between the two parties’ leadership will be discussed, and we will resolve all those issues to strengthen the present coalition government,” he told reporters in Bengaluru. Stating that no discussion took place regarding any statements by anybody including “our leader” Siddaramaiah at his meeting on Thursday with Congress ministers, he said, “All that is left to the party high command…”
A video showing Siddaramaiah purportedly expressing doubts over the longevity of the JD(S)-Congress government had surfaced on Tuesday, adding to the strains in the coalition. Parameshwara also accused the BJP of attempting to destabilise the coalition government and said, “It is not going to be possible.” He said, “Whatever little murmurs (are there in the coalition), the BJP is trying to magnify it and trying to destabilise our coalition. I can tell them, it is not going to be possible for them. We are very strong in our coalition. Initial little hiccups will be there… we will resolve them.”
“It (differences) is not something on policy matters… it is something about issues, and we will resolve it. I can assure the people of Karnataka of a strong coalition government,” he added.
Discordant voices have emerged from the Congress and the JD(S) on a host of issues, including presentation of the budget, as Siddaramaiah who held finance portfolio in the previous government, had recently said there was no need for a fresh budget and insisted that a supplementary budget would do. A video also had surfaced on Sunday, purportedly showing Siddaramaiah expressing his displeasure to a few Congress MLAs over presentation of a fresh budget.
Parameshwara said the main objective of both the Congress and the JD(S) coming together was to provide good governance and carry on pro-people programme, including the farm loan waiver. He said the budget would be presented on July 5 and any new programmes or allocation of funds for them would be decided then.
Parameshwara rejected the view that Siddaramaiah’s meeting with several MLAs and leaders was a show of strength, pointing out that he too had visited him at the nature cure hospital and discussed the party matters. Asked about the next round of Cabinet expansion, he said it has to be discussed at the high command level and with the Chief Minister, and six vacancies from the Congress and one from the JD(S) would be filled at the earliest.
Prior to the expansion, posts in key boards and corporations would be filled up with legislators, discussions on which have already begun. Parameshwara also said as the party president, he has given instructions that no one other than those holding responsible positions, whether in the government or the party, should make any statements.
“Siddaramaiah is our leader, he is the coordination committee chief, also CLP leader. Whatever statements he makes, he makes it with the responsibility. Let others not make any statements twisting his statements… as it may give different meaning,” he added.
On his meeting with ministers, Parameshwara said they held discussions about preparation for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, strategies to be adopted, finding a suitable candidate and also to coordinate between different levels of the party. Ministers have suggested that the district in-charge ministers had to be immediately decided.