In a big setback for the JD(S)-Congress coalition in Karnataka, senior JD(S) leader AH Vishwanath submitted his resignation as the state party president, on Tuesday, 4 June. Although he took the moral responsibility for the party’s loss in the general election in his resignation letter, he went on to attack the Congress leadership for its coalition’s failure in the election.
Vishwanath, in his statement to the media said the coalition was former chief minister Siddaramaiah’s ‘play toy’ and it failed to take care of the needs of the coalition partners.
Vishwanth is the third coalition leader to have lashed out at Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah on Tuesday. Earlier, Congress leaders and former ministers Ramalinga Reddy and Roshun Baig had blamed Siddaramaiah for the government’s failure.
Congress Responsible for Deve Gowda’s Loss: Vishwanath
Addressing the media after submitting his resignation to JD(S) party supremo HD Deve Gowda, Vishwanath levelled several allegations against the Congress leadership, including not being included in the coalition coordination committee despite being the party chief. “The coordination committee is merely namesake and has failed miserably in ensuring coordination between the two parties. It hasn't even been able to come up with a common minimum program," he said.
He also accused the Congress of conspiring against Deve Gowda in Tumkur and Nikhil Kumar in Mandya resulting in their humiliating defeat.
He said the coalition partner refused to part with the ticket for the Mysuru parliamentary seat. "In the beginning itself, we had asked for the Mysuru parliamentary seat. There was a sitting Congress MP in Tumakuru but Deve Gowda contested from the seat," he said.
‘He is Disgruntled’: JD(S) Sources
Sources in the JD(S) said Vishwanath’s disgruntlement over being sidelined in the party is the reason for his resignation. He was made JD(S) chief after HD Kumaraswamy took charge as the chief minister of the state.
Even though the JD(S) chief was not part of the party’s decision-making process, including the seat-sharing formula, ahead of the parliamentary election. His resignation comes on the day Chief Minister Kumaraswamy has called for a JDS legislative party meeting.
Senior Congress Leaders Attack Siddaramaiah
Earlier on Tuesday, former home minister and Congress leader Ramalinga Reddy had claimed that neglecting senior Congress leaders in the government and the lack of organisational foresightedness of some ministers resulted in the bad defeat. “The prime reasons also include not listening to the advice of seniors and the performance of some ministers,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
“The state’s frontline leaders as well as in-charges stumbled when it came to resolving internal differences. Despite Congress being in power, our party workers had lost enthusiasm during the election. This is primarily because there was no cordial relationship and coordination between Congress ministers and party workers. Plus, seniors and party workers were neglected.”
“Today’s situation is the result of having laid out a red carpet for newbies and immigrants who know nothing, both in the party as well as in the government. Seniors should be given place in the government so that the existing internal imbalance is addressed,” he wrote.
Former Minister Joins Reddy
Another senior Congress leader joined Reddy in accusing Siddaramaiah for the party’s failure. Hours after Reddy’s statement slamming the party’s leadership, Roshan Baig also released a statement, "I agree with Ramalinga Reddy. Seniors are being sidelined, we should hold discussions. We can't be mute spectators to what's happening here. Senior leaders like Ramalinga Reddy and me are being sidelined. There is no chemistry between the two coalition parties."
The Congress party has been on an overdrive to stop the coalition from falling apart after the BJP won 25 out of the 28 seats in parliamentary seat in the state. While coalition leader claim these statements are pressure tactics from the disgruntled leaders, since the BJP is expected to the start their MLA poaching operations these statements cannot be taken lightly.
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