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Cong-JD(S) alliance under strain as Siddaramaiah, Deve Gowda trade barbs

Former Karnataka chief minister and Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah traded barbs with JD (S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda and hinted that he may not be keen on the allaince between teh two parties anymore.

south Updated: Aug 24, 2019 11:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah at a press conference  in Bengaluru .
Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah at a press conference in Bengaluru . (PTI)

A month after the H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in Karnataka collapsed, the uneasy Congress-Janata Dal (S) alliance seems to be disintegrating with Congress legislature party leader Siddaramaiah locking horns with JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda and hinting that he may not be keen on the pact anymore.

“Our party high command will take a decision on the Karnataka-Janata Dal Secular alliance. I will inform them about my opinion in this regard,” Siddaramaiah tweeted.

 

Both parties have not been committal on the continuation of the alliance after the government’s collapse.

Earlier this week, Deve Gowda had blamed Siddaramaiah for the fall of the coalition government that his son headed for 14 months.

On Thursday, he had said the Congress high command’s decision to make Kumaraswamy the chief minister without consulting Siddaramaiah was wrong and the latter could not digest it.

Siddaramaiahn hit back at his former mentor Gowda saying he did not object the Kumaraswamy’s chief ministership only to keep the BJP out of power in the state.

The Congress and JD(S) had fought against each other during the 2018 assembly polls, but joined hands after the elections threw up a hung verdict to keep BJP, the single largest party in the 225-member House, out of power.

“A communal party was/is at the helm of affairs in our country. The central government was/is trying to curtail opposition. There was an urgent need to protect the constitution, democracy and the secular fabric. For the same reason, I did not object when HD Kumaraswamy was made the Chief Minister of Karnataka,” Siddaramaiah said.

 

The Congress had 80 MLAs and the JD(S) had 37 when the two parties made a pact that pitchforked Kumaraswamy into chief ministership. Siddaramaiah blamed Gowda and his sons Kumaraswamy and H D Revanna (former Minister) for the government’s fall.

“In spite of this, HD Deve Gowda has blamed me for the downfall of coalition government when he gave an interview to an English newspaper. Only HD Deve Gowda, HD Kumaraswamy and HD Revanna are responsible for the failure of our coalition,” the former chief minister said in another tweet.

The Congress-JD (S) government fell on July 22 after the confidence motion moved by Kumaraswamy was defeated in the Assembly, barely two months after the Lok Sabha elections in which the alliance won only two of Karnataka’s 28 seats.