Former Chief Minister and Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Sunday said his party's tie-up with the JD(S) to form a coalition government in Karnataka in 2018 was the high command's decision. His comments come a day after JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy alleged that joining hands with the Congress and forming coalition government destroyed the goodwill he had earned and maintained for 12 years.
Kumaraswamy even accused Siddaramaiah of a conspiracy, as he stated that even BJP had not "betrayed" him to that level. In his reaction, Siddaramaiah said, "Despite having 70 MLAs, our party high command decided to support them to prevent a communal BJP coming to power.
Not me, but the high command spoke to them (H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy). I had not spoken a word with them." The Congress leader clarified that he was not present during the first level of talks for coalition with JD(S). "I neither met Kumaraswamy nor Deve Gowda, nor had I invited them to form the government. Where is the question of trapping?" Siddaramaiah asked.
In a tweet, the Leader of Opposition alleged that the JD (S) always considered the Congress as its opponent and not the BJP with which it had maintained a soft stance. "JDS is the BJP's B-Team, which is evident from H D Kumaraswamy's statement yesterday that he would have been chief minister for 5 years if he had gone with the BJP." Responding to Kumaraswamy's statement, BJP leaders said the senior JD(S) leader was 'repenting.' "Kumaraswamy would have remained in power if he had tied up with the BJP. Now he is repenting," Karnataka Medium and Large Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar told reporters in Hubballi on Sunday.
The BJP MP from Mysuru-Kodagu Prathap Simha said Kumaraswamy's realisation that he was in a comfortable situation when he was with BJP is quite 'encouraging.' "At least he has realised it now," Simha told reporters in Mysuru. The BJP and JD(S) had earlier formed a coalition government in 2006 with Kumaraswamy as Chief Minister and Yediyurappa as his deputy, under a power-sharing formula of 20 months each.
However, the government had collapsed as JD(S) did not transfer power to BJP, which later went on to win the next assembly elections and form its first ever government in the south.