Karnataka Chief Minister and Janata Dal Secular leader H D Kumaraswamy called for a halt to the “contradictory statements” by Congress and JDS leaders in the Karnataka coalition, citing possible danger to the formation of a new coalition government at the Centre minus the BJP.
“We are on the verge of formation of a new government at the Centre. At this juncture, where all efforts are being made to form a non-BJP government at the Centre, the contradictory statements by leaders of coalition partners Congress and JDS may mar such efforts,” Kumaraswamy said on social media on Saturday. “Hence my humble request to the leaders of both the parties to refrain from making contradictory-controversial statements in public and to support the cause.”
Leaders of the Congress and JDS —- including former chief minister Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy —- have since the Lok Sabha polls in the state engaged in sharp exchanges, highlighting the internal contradictions in the coalition.
Congress leaders loyal to Siddaramaiah have said they would like to see him return as CM. Kumaraswamy meanwhile has said that it is senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge who deserves to be CM. JDS leader G T Devegowda has stated that party workers in Mysuru voted for the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. There are also doubts about Congress leaders backing independent candidate Sumalatha in the Mandya Lok Sabha seat, where the JDS has fielded Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil.
The BJP has been citing the constant bickering in the Karnataka coalition over the last year as a case for preventing the creation of a coalition government in Delhi after the Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress leadership in Karnataka is scheduled to meet party president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Sunday. “Siddaramaiah flew to Delhi today to attend a meeting to be held by AICC president Rahul Gandhi,” sources close to the former CM said.
Earlier, when bickering between the coalition partners threatened to derail seat-sharing talks for the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress leadership intervened following complaints from JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda. State leaders like Siddaramaiah were then asked to ensure smooth functioning of the coalition.
On Saturday, Deve Gowda dismissed the BJP’s assertion that it would get more than 300 seats in the Lok Sabha polls, saying that no national party can form the government without the support of regional parties, PTI reported. He also expressed confidence that his son Kumaraswamy would complete his five-year term as CM.