Senior leaders of the Congress and JDS are engaged in a war of words over the collapse of the coalition government in Karnataka barely 14 months after coming together.
On Friday, former CM and leader of the Congress in the Assembly Siddaramaiah blamed JDS president H D Deve Gowda and his sons for the collapse, alleging that they did not take MLAs into confidence while governing.
Siddaramaiah was reacting to Deve Gowda’s comments over the last couple of days insinuating that it was Siddaramaiah who pulled the coalition down because he was upset at the Congress going behind his back in May 2018 to forge an alliance with the JDS —- his former party —- to make his rival H D Kumaraswamy the chief minister.
The remarks by the two veteran leaders are the first direct allegations between the Congress and JDS regarding the failure of the alliance since the coalition government collapsed last month.
“H D Kumaraswamy, H D Revanna and H D Deve Gowda are the real reasons for the fall of the coalition government and all the MLAs are saying this. All Congress and JDS MLAs should have been taken into confidence and if development work had been done in their constituencies nobody would have probably rebelled,’’ Siddaramaiah said.
Earlier, in media interactions, Deve Gowda had suggested that Siddaramaiah used his supporters in the Congress to trigger rebellion in the coalition and cause its premature downfall. “Siddaramaiah, who was CM for five years, was not taken into confidence by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi who decided that Kumaraswamy will be the chief minister. This did not go down well,” Deve Gowda said on Thursday.
Denying Deve Gowda’s allegation, Siddaramaiah said on Friday that he had accepted the Congress high command’s decision without protest and cooperated in running the coalition.
State Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the former PM should have refrained from blaming the Congress. “We worked together in Lok Sabha polls and tried our best despite local level problems,” he said. Kumaraswamy refused to react to Siddaramaiah’s statements.