Underlining the unease between ruling coalition partners in Karnataka, state minister GT Devegowda on Wednesday said JD(S)workers in Mysuru and elsewhere might have voted for the BJP in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
“The leaders (Congress and JD(S)) could not resolve the differences between party workers in two months. Maybe if we had started the process earlier, we could have done better.
“Those who were in Congress voted for Congress and those in JD(S) voted for the BJP. Similar things happened elsewhere too,” Gowda was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The Congress and JD(S) had fought the Lok Sabha elections together, but differences over seat-sharing came out in the open before the alliance named their candidates.
Pointing out that coalition should have been formalised much earlier, Gowda said, ” if the two parties could have combined their strength, there was no scope for the BJP to win even five seats out of 28 in Karnataka.”
Notably, Devegowda, who is also JD(S)’ incharge for Mysuru district, had held joint rallies with former chief minister Siddaramaiah in the region. Siddaramaiah lost to Devegowda from Chamundeshwari assembly segment in the assembly elections held in 2018.
Devegowda’s remarks triggered a strong reaction from the Congress, with its state president Dinesh Gundu Rao saying it was not good for the coalition government.
Expressing shock, Rao told news agency PTI, “I am not able to figure out how he (Gowda) had worked during the election because he has given contradictory statements. Such statements are not good for the coalition government.”
“Such things would happen because those given responsibilities did not work sincerely. There seems to be lack of sincerity,” the Congress leader said
Meanwhile, the BJP claimed it was not just the JD(S) workers but Congress leaders and workers too voted for the saffron party. BJP MLA and former deputy chief minister R Ashok said, “G T Deve Gowda’s statement is the voice of the people. It is the opinion of the workers of both the political parties.”