Even though political uncertainty persists in the fragile coalition Government in Karnataka after the Cabinet expansion with many disgruntled Congress MLAs expressing their anger openly. However in an attempt to douse the fire, former Chief Minister and chairman of the coordination committee Siddaramaiah rubbishes the claim of the Opposition BJP that coalition Government in Karnataka will collapse due to internal rift.
Siddaramaiah has said at Hubballi in north Karnataka on Thursday that the Congress-JD(S) alliance was strong and they would contest the 2019 general elections together in one platform.
He also ruled out any differences between him and Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara over portfolio allocation to newly inducted Ministers. However even days after Cabinet expansion the Chief Minister Kumaraswamy is not able to allocate the portfolios to the newly inducted ministers from the congress as the conflict has reached the high command.
“They (BJP) don’t want to sit in the Opposition and work. By using some wrong means, they want to form the Government,” Siddaramaiah said. He was reacting to senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Umesh Katti’s claim that 15 disgruntled MLAs from the ruling coalition were in touch with him and that the saffron party would form the new Government in Karnataka by next week. Siddaramaiah said, “Nothing will happen, the Government will not fall. Government will complete its term; there is no problem at all.”
Reacting to the views of JD(S) leaders that the party should contest the Lok Sabha polls alone, the veteran Congress leader said both the parties had fought the by-elections together and the alliance will remain intact for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as well.
“I don’t know what you are saying ... (JD(S) wanting to go alone) is news for me,” the former Karnataka Chief Minister said, adding that the seat sharing formula was yet to be finalised.
The JDs workers are perturbed by the “big brother attitude” of the Congress party and pressurising the leadership to contest all 28 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 general elections alone.
Meanwhile ruling out any attempts by his party to destabilise the Congress-JD(S) coalition Government in Karnataka, State BJP president B S Yeddyurappa said his party would take “appropriate decision” if there was political instability. He distanced himself from senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker Umesh Katti’s claim that 15 disgruntled MLAs from the ruling coalition were in touch with him and that the saffron party would form the new Government in Karnataka by next week. “Neither me, nor our leaders have said we will carry out operation lotus (BJP’s election symbol). Umesh Katti’s statement is not right,” the former Chief Minister said.
“I want to say... let’s think about what to be done when Congress-JD(S) Government falls because of internal squabble,” he said. Yeddyurappa said in Vijayapura, “We will not indulge in luring Congress-JD(S) legislators, we don’t require it also.” “No Congress or JD(S) MLA has contacted us, nor have we attempted it,” he added. Yeddyurappa also alleged that due to internal squabble within the ruling coalition about Cabinet expansion and portfolio allocation, development of the State was getting hampered.
Another senior BJP leader KS Eshwarappa said, “Earlier there was fight among the MLAs of Congress for the position of Minister. Now though the position of minister is offered, there is issue of portfolio distribution. Siddaramaiah has given the ministership to people who are in his good books. Senior leaders like Shyamanur Shivashankarappa have shown his dissent and this shows the internal rift in Congress. The coalition Government will fall by itself and BJP Government will assume power in future.”