Deve Gowda targets Siddaramaiah over collapse of Congress-JD (S) coalition
The animosity between the two had appeared to have been dealt with while the two parties were in power, although there were signs of simmering anger on both sides. This came out into the open as Deve Gowda turned up the pressure over the past two days, blaming the former chief minister for the collapse of the coalition.Updated: Aug 23, 2019 23:14 IST
The gloves came off between former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and his one-time-protégé-turned-foe, former chief minister Siddaramaiah on Friday as the duo traded charges with both blaming the other for the collapse of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition.
The animosity between the two had appeared to have been dealt with while the two parties were in power, although there were signs of simmering anger on both sides. This came out into the open as Deve Gowda turned up the pressure over the past two days, blaming the former chief minister for the collapse of the coalition.
Also Watch | Siddaramaiah accuses H D Deve Gowda for Cong-JDS collapse, BJP’s coming to power
The coalition government, which came to power in the aftermath of a hung verdict in the 2018 assembly elections, lost a trust vote in July after 17 of its MLAs submitted resignations and were subsequently disqualified, bringing its 14-month tenure to an end.
Deve Gowda said, “[Congress president] Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi erred in not consulting Siddaramaiah before naming HD Kumaraswamy as the chief minister of the coalition government.”
Once the first salvo was fired the Congress leader, too, went on the offensive blaming Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy and HD Revanna for the collapse of the coalition. “All the allegations made by Deve Gowda are far from the truth and made to gain political mileage. He is the one who said that there is a rivalry between us, not me,” he said.
“Kumaraswamy, Revanna and Deve Gowda were responsible for the coalition’s collapse, everybody is saying that. If they had taken everybody into confidence and worked for the development of their constituencies, there wouldn’t have been any dissidence,” Siddaramaiah said.
Speaking about the coordination committee of the coalition, which Siddaramaiah headed, he said that none of the recommendations of the committee, of which Kumaraswamy was also a part, were acted upon. “He used to agree to these decisions but never acted upon them, but I never spoke about this because the high command had asked us to support them for five years,” Siddaramaiah said.
The former chief minister’s attack turned into a historical reckoning. He said the reason the BJP tasted power in the state was because Kumaraswamy formed an alliance with the BJP in 2006, after the JD(S) withdrew support to the then Congress-JD(S) coalition government.
“If the BJP has come to power, Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy are the ones responsible. If Kumaraswamy formed a coalition with the BJP in 2006 it cannot have been without the approval of Deve Gowda. It was because they reneged on their promise to the BJP in 2007 that the BJP came to power in the state in 2008. So they are the ones responsible for BJP spreading roots in the state,” he said.
Siddaramaiah said that Deve Gowda had forgotten that the two leaders had campaigned together during the Lok Sabha polls. “It is true that I had suggested to the high command that we go in for a friendly fight rather than contest together. But it is incorrect for him to blame me for his loss in the Lok Sabha polls,” he said. “If that is the case, then who can we blame for the losses of our candidates in other constituencies?”
Deve Gowda responded to Siddaramaiah’s comments saying that he had seen everything that happened. “I was watching everything that they did. If I had removed the government, nationally [they would have said] Deve Gowda removed the government… Kumaraswamy was in tears when he told me he would resign because of the trouble they created,” he said.
Soon other leaders, too, joined in on the issue. Congress state president Dinesh Gundu Rao said there was no question of tears from any side, criticising the former prime minister for his statements. “We stood with them till the end. Speaking about someone crying was not required. Showing helplessness is not right and it is a little dramatic,” he said.
Former chief minister Kumaraswamy tweeted that this was not the right time to respond to Siddaramaiah’s allegations. “At a time when secular forces have to come together it is not healthy to make such statements. I will respond to everything when the time is right,” he said.