All’s not well in the Congress-JD(S) coalition with party workers from both sides openly indulging in rebellion. The situation got out of hand when JD(S) party workers shouted pro-Modi slogans in Mysuru on Friday. In order to showcase unity between the two parties, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his bitter rival – JD(S) MLA from Chamundeshwari GT Devegowda will hold a joint press conference in Mysuru on Sunday.
Speaking to the media in Bengaluru, Siddaramaiah said, “All Congress party workers must work together with the JD(S). This is a national-level election and winning is the priority. Whoever does not support the party’s decision can go and join another party. Rebellion will not be tolerated.”
Siddaramaiah, one of the tallest leaders in the state Congress, had suffered a huge embarrassment in his home constituency – Chamundeshwari, when his former friend turned foe – GT Devegowda wrested the segment from him during the 2018 Assembly elections. The Mysuru-Kodagu Lok Sabha segment has seen battles between the Congress and JD(S) over the last few decades and now the pre-poll alliance has become a bitter pill for feuding party workers.
The JD(S) on Friday had organized a meeting with party workers in Mysuru where Ministers GT Devegowda and Sa Ra Mahesh had requested party workers to work and support the Congress candidate CH Vijayshankar.
The disgruntled party workers began chanting “Modi, Modi” and pledged to work against the Congress candidate. The party workers expressed their disappointment with the coalition, alleging that the Mysuru seat should have rightfully been offered to the JD(S).
Soon after the party meeting, GT Devegowda told the media that he would not be held responsible if the Congress lost in Mysuru. GT Devegowda’s statement came after Congress leaders in Mandya – Cheluvarayaswamy told the media that the Congress cannot be held responsible if Nikhil Kumaraswamy were to lose in Mandya.
The JD(S) party workers have risen in rebellion against the Congress candidate as the Congress party workers in Mandya have openly expressed their support to independent candidate Sumalatha.
“There is no unity among party workers. The leaders can form alliances but in reality, the party workers are not unified. We can see this happening in Mandya, Hassan, Tumakuru and Mysuru. The coalition exists in name only,” Congress leader Cheluvarayaswamy said.
In order to ensure that CH Vijayshankar’s chances of winning is not hampered, sources in the Congress say that Siddaramaiah has been forced to extend an olive branch to his rival GT Devegowda. “The press meet is to show that both leaders have buried their differences,” the Congress source added.