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Days After Collapse of Coalition Govt in Karnataka, JD(S) Patriarch Deve Gowda Puts Onus of Alliance's Future on Congress

The former Prime Minister also made it clear that Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah would officially be the leader of the opposition in the Assembly and not his son and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.

PTI

Updated:July 28, 2019, 6:24 PM IST
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Days After Collapse of Coalition Govt in Karnataka, JD(S) Patriarch Deve Gowda Puts Onus of Alliance's Future on Congress
File photo of JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda.
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Bengaluru: Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda on Sunday said the future of his party's alliance with the Congress would depend on the decision of the high command of the grand old party, based on the advice of their Karnataka leadership.

The former Prime Minister also made it clear that Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah would officially be the leader of the opposition in the Assembly and not his son and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.

"It was on the orders of Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who has now resigned as party president, that Kumaraswamy had agreed to become Chief Minister. The future (of the alliance) will depend on whatever the high command (Congress) will decide, based on the advice of their party state leaders. I don't want to comment on it further now," Gowda told reporters.

"Kumaraswamy is not officially the leader of the opposition. For three years and eight months of Yediyurappa's government, Siddarmaiah will officially be the leader of the opposition... Kumarawamy is the floor leader of a political party," he added.

A day after the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka, the coalition leadership, including Kumaraswamy, on Wednesday had remained non-committal on the future of their alliance.

Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao too had maintained that the alliance was decided by the high command and the state unit would follow its instructions on the

matter.

The Congress and JD(S), considered arch rivals, especially in old Mysuru region, had joined hands to form a coalition government after the May 2018 Assembly polls threw up a hung verdict.

Both parties were routed in the recent Lok Sabha polls, winning just one seat each of total of 28 seats in the state, as grassroots level workers of both parties were not happy with the alliance. Coalition worries and dissidence within had repeatedly threatened the government's stability and raised questions about its longevity.

The resignation of 15 MLAs — 12 from the Congress and three from JD(S) — and independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh withdrawing their support to the coalition government, compounded matters, pushing the government to the brink.

In the trial of legislative strength after resignation of the MLAs, Kumaraswamy had garnered 99 votes against the 105 by the opposition BJP, following which he resigned.

Responding to a question, Gowda said he would react to charges levelled against him and his son Kumaraswamy by rebel MLAs once they come back and 'reveal certain things." "I will meet the press and react after that," he said.

Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar on Sunday disqualified 14 more Congress-JD(S) rebel MLAs under the anti-defection law, taking the total tally of disqualified

legislators to 17, which will not have any direct impact on Yediyurappa government's trust vote on Monday.

Gowda also got emotional as he pointed out that he could not give government positions to many loyal party workers, despite being in power. "We were in difficulty... I did not give positions to Karyakartas who fought for me," he added.

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