Amid rumours of growing discontent between the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) leaders in Karnataka following the BJP's landslide win in Lok Sabha elections in the state, former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not abiding by the Constitution that he 'bows to'. Since Congress rout in Karnataka polls, several reports have claimed that there is tension in the Karnataka alliance.
Siddaramaiah's remarks came in the wake of Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa on Sunday saying that the saffron party favoured fresh Assembly elections in such an event (in case the coalition collapses), ruling out partnering with the regional party to form a new government. "Forming a government with JD(S) help is an impossibility. I have had a distasteful experience of 20-20 rule under Kumaraswamy's chief ministership. I do not want to repeat the mistake again," Yeddyurappa told PTI in an interview.
.@BSYBJP claims to form the govt inspite of not having the number. This is not a new drama but this is continuously misleading the public.
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) May 27, 2019
Apart from Yeddyurappa's comments, two rebel Karnataka Congress leaders Ramesh Jarkiholi and K Sudhakar were seen at BJP leader SM Krishna’s residence on Sunday for a courtesy call after the Narendra Modi-led party’s victory in Karnataka. "It was not a political meeting. We wanted to wish Krishna ji on BJP's stupendous performance in the Lok Sabha polls. I was an MLA even when Krishna was CM from 1999 to 2004 and we share a good rapport. So only I visited to inquire about his health," Jarkiholi told ANI. The reports were rejected as rumours by most ruling coalition leaders, however, comments by Congress leader KN Rajanna raised more questions about the functioning of the Karnataka government. Rajanna claimed that the Congress government in Karnataka will collapse "after 10 June." "G Parameshwara will remain the deputy chief minister till the prime minister takes oath. After that, he will not be minister and this government will not remain in power as it will collapse next month after 10 June," he said.
KN Rajanna Congress leader & Former MLA: G. Parameshwara will remain as the Deputy Chief Minister till the Prime Minister takes oath, after that he will not be minister and this government will not remain in power as it will collapse next month after 10th June. pic.twitter.com/rukxPUWIah
— ANI (@ANI) May 27, 2019
A day after the Congress leaders met Krishna, Karnataka minister MB Patil quashed rumours of the coalition leaders looking to switch camps. He clarified, “None of our MLAs will switch to BJP. They (BJP) have tried it (to topple government) in the past, they will also try it in the future but this government will complete its full term.”
Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara also expressed confidence that the coalition would withstand BJP attempts to poach its MLAs. “We have discussed at length the Lok Sabha results. This referendum has been given to the national election, not the state polls. So, we will continue our state coalition under the leadership of Kumaraswamy. All our MLAs are with us,” he said.
Meanwhile, following the coalition’s defeat, JD(S) working president MS Narayan Rao issued a circular to party leaders, spokespersons and MLAs asking them to not participate in television debates or give any statements to the media.
After the Lok Sabha results on 23 May, Karnataka ministers, from both the Congress and the JD(S), assembled to discuss the political situation in the state after the dismal performance by the two parties in the national election. Many of the Congress and JDS heavyweights have lost the elections, including JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda and senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Veerappa Moily.
The BJP swept 25 seats, leaving just two constituencies to the Congress and JD(S) and one seat was won by independent candidate and former actress Sumalatha Ambareesh. It was also the only state in southern India where the BJP emerged victorious in majority, with probably the steepest margin since the 1980s.
The Congress and JD(S) formed a coalition government in the state after counting of votes in the May 2018 Assembly elections ended with a hung verdict.
Karnataka voted in two phases on 18 and 23 April.
- With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: May 27, 2019 16:13:43 IST