Stung by setbacks across Karnataka, Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition leaders now seem to focus on keeping their flock together and burying their differences, which are thought to have led to the poll debacle, with even the high command of Congress stepping in.
AICC chairman Rahul Gandhi, sources close to chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said, spoke with him and promised more support from his state party men. The chief minister had an hour-long meeting with coordinating committee chairman Siddaramaiah later that day to resolve differences.
Looking to save the coalition government from the BJP’s aggressive poaching of its legislators, senior leaders have advised both Mr. Kumaraswamy and Mr. Siddaramaiah to work together to prevent the movements of the saffron party.
Mr. Siddaramaiah, as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party, is also under pressure because of the party’s poor performance in the state, Congress sources said.
In the meantime, the chief minister was also visited by Byrathi Basavaraj and ST Somashekhar, MLAs associated with the Siddaramaiah camp.
situation as there is a serious threat from the BJP trying to poach our lawmakers. We’ve told both Mr. Siddaramaiah and Mr. Kumaraswamy to hold hands together or we might go down as well, “a senior minister of Congress told the media person.
“Currently, unity between coalition partners is important to both parties ‘ survival. If public statements continue, we will be voted out by people, “he added.
While senior ministers told this to Mr. Siddaramaiah at a Congress ministers ‘ breakfast meeting on Friday, a similar message was sent to Mr. Kumaraswamy at an informal Cabinet meeting after the Lok Sabha election results to discuss the political situation.
Another senior Congress minister said after the coalition government came to power in May 2018, the election results forced a rethink among the leadership of the State Congress for the first time.
“There is now a realization that the differences of the coalition in this election have cost them dear. Our experiment with half-heartedness has failed. In order to protect the government, there must be some seriousness at the top, “the minister said.
Meanwhile, recognizing that attempts by the BJP to overthrow the government have been made, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, in his briefing post-Cabinet meeting, said such efforts would not bear fruit. “In the Cabinet meeting, we discussed the issue. All of our lawmakers are together. We will complete the term and implement the promises we made. “Mr. Kumaraswamy is also taught to tell JD(S) lawmakers not to fall prey to the attempts of the BJP to lure them with money and posts. He also asked lawmakers and party leaders, particularly ministers, to reach out to the people to the pro-people schemes, including the waiver of farm loans. “This is to spike up the opposition’s false propaganda about the coalition government’s failure of the flagship farm welfare program,” a senior leader said.
‘Govt. is safe’
Mr. Siddaramaiah also told reporters that the government was safe and the Lok Sabha election mandate would not have any impact on the State government.
Following the dismal performance, Mr. Kumaraswamy, it was learnt, offered to resign on Thursday owning moral responsibility.
Confirming the development, a senior Congress Minister said Mr. Kumaraswamy did so as the results started coming in. “However, State Congress leaders, including KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao and Home Minister M.B. Patil, met him on Thursday and convinced him against taking such a step,” he said.