Congress, JD-S stay united after HD Kumaraswamy threatens to quit
Karnataka’s ruling coalition partners Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) on Monday said the allies were united with no dispute at the leadership level after Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy offered to quit if Congress could not control its MLAs from criticising his style of functioning.Updated: Jan 29, 2019 09:32 IST
Karnataka’s ruling coalition partners Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) on Monday said the allies were united with no dispute at the leadership level after Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy offered to quit if Congress could not control its MLAs from criticising his style of functioning.
“There is no dispute in the coordination committee and the parties are united at the leadership level. The coalition between JD-S, Congress is a post-poll coalition, in which it is normal to have issues occasionally,” JD-S secretary general Kunwar Danish Ali told a news channel.
He had spoken to Congress’ Karnataka in-charge K.C. Venugopal, who in turn spoke to the Chief Minister, Ali said.
“Venugopal directed the Congress MLAs to fall in line. There is a good understanding between the parties, as the leaders want to deliver a stable coalition government for five years,” Ali added.
Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister remarked that he was willing to step down from his post if Congress did not control its legislators from criticising his work.
“I am ready to quit if my style of functioning is not acceptable to anyone. The Congress must control its MLAs and resolve the issues. If they remark against me frequently in open meetings, I am willing to step down,” Kumaraswamy told the media here.
The Chief Minister’s remarks came a day after two Congress ministers and a legislator on Sunday alleged here that no development works took place in the last seven-eight months under Kumaraswamy’s administration and claimed that former Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was their leader and was a better administrator.
“I don’t want to stick on to the chair. Deputy Chief Minister (G. Parameshwara) and myself are trying to do a good job and are working together,” asserted Kumaraswamy.
The Janata Dal-Secular leader also claimed that the coalition government had invested Rs 1 lakh crore in Bengaluru alone during the past 8 months.
“But to deliver good governance, we require the support of all MLAs,” Kumaraswamy reiterated.
Housing Minister M.T.B. Nagaraju and Backward Classes Minister C. Puttaranga Shetty, who belong to the Congress, also said Siddaramaiah was their Chief Minister.
Nagaraju represents the Hoskote Assembly segment and Puttaranga Shetty the Chamarajanagar seat. Somashekar, the Congress legislator, represents Yeshwanthapura seat in Bengaluru northwest.
In a related development, Congress leader Venugopal said a show cause notice would be issued to Somashekar for his recent remarks criticising the coalition government.
“Instructed Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) to send a show cause notice to Somashekar seeking clarification on his controversial remarks. If the explanation is not satisfactory, party will take strong disciplinary action. @INCIndia will not tolerate any such indisciplined statements and actions,” Venugopal tweeted.
The Congress leadership has its faith in the coalition government and the Chief Minister, he stressed.
A hung verdict in the May 2018 assembly elections led the Congress with about 80 lawmakers support the JD-S with 37 legislators to form the coalition government on May 23 after the BJP with 104 MLAs quit office on May 19 for failing to prove simple majority in the 225-member House.
Meanwhile, opposition BJP’s Lok Sabha member from the state Shobha Karandlaje said Somashekar’s statement testified the mood in the Congress camp, as some of its MLAs are unhappy with the unholy government to bring back the jungle raj of Siddaramaiah.
“No wonder that this government still have a Damocles’ sword hanging over its existence,” Shobha tweeted.