Will Cabinet Berth Pacify Dissenting Voices in Cracking Congress-JDS Coalition or Add Fuel to Fire?
AICC general secretary KC Venegopal and senior Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad are said to be coming to Bengaluru to speak with these leaders to contain the situation, even though state leaders have down-played the matter.
Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy during a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, in Bengaluru, Friday, May 24, 2019. (PTI)
Bengaluru: Even though the top leadership in Karnataka's coalition government is in damage-control mode, party leaders from the Congress as well as the JDS have been using the rout in the Lok Sabha polls to raise their differences.
MLAs like K Sudhakar and Roshan Baig have openly spoken against the party, while Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumtahalli and others have kept the party guessing for months.The 'will he, won't he quit' question continues.
And it’s not just the Congress MLAs. On Monday JDS MLA from Kolar, Srinivas Gowda openly claimed that the party worked against the Congress candidate KH Muniyappa in Kolar by supporting the BJP. "The whole district knows the truth. Yes, we supported the BJP not because he was from a rival party but only out of our dislike for KH Muniyappa" he said.
Another JDS MLA Gowri Shankar from Tumkuru Rural blamed the pre-poll alliance between the two parties for the former prime minister HD Deve Gowda’s defeat. "If there was no coalition, Deve Gowda would have won with a margin of over 2 lakh votes. I may be thrown out from the party but I will say that we don't want this coalition government," Shankar said.
Rumours are rife that the government is trying to pacify these dissenters by giving them ministerial berths by going for a re-jig in the state cabinet. AICC general secretary KC Venegopal and senior Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad are said to be coming to Bengaluru to speak with these leaders to contain the situation, even though state leaders have down-played the matter.
Karnataka state Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao said that he didn't want to add to the speculations. "We are meeting and talking to all leaders. But I do not want to comment at this juncture,” Rao said.
But will the lure of a cabinet berth be enough? Ajay Singh, the son of former chief minister Dharam Singh, says that he too is a ministerial post aspirant and that the party needs to strike a balance between the troublemakers and the loyalists.
"Currently there is only one ministerial vacancy due to CS Shivalli's death. But if there is going to be a reshuffle or expansion then I too am an aspirant. I would request the leadership to consider the loyalist of the party and not just the trouble-makers" he added.
Meanwhile, BJP state president BS Yeddyruppa continued to exude confidence after his party's resounding victory in the Lok Sabha polls. He also stated that the coalition government’s days were numbered. "We were leading in 177 assembly constituencies and have won 25 +1 MP seats. If they are daring enough, they should dissolve the Assembly and call for fresh elections," he said.
"Those who were approaching us (the BJP), they are now giving them ministerial posts. I'm not bothered about that. We will wait and take a decision at the right time", Yeddyruppa added.
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