Are leaders in Karnataka Congress pushing for a re-election in the state? The alliance between strange bedfellows -- the Congress and JD(S) in Karnataka has been constantly riddled with infighting. And now, speculation is rife in the Grand Old Party that many leaders are disappointed with the JD(S). Speaking to the media in Bengaluru, Home Minister MB Patil, a loyalist of former CM Siddaramaiah, on Tuesday said, “Siddaramaiah should have become the Chief Minister for the second term but national leaders did not think so.”
However, when asked whether there were differences between coalition partners, Siddaramaiah told the media in Hubballi on Wednesday that such questions must not be answered before the Lok Sabha election results are out.
“Yes, several leaders have said they want to see me become the CM but they have only said that out of love and for no other reason. Currently, the CM’s chair is not vacant. It has been occupied by Kumaraswamy. Taking decisions about it before the Lok Sabha election results come out is not wise,” Siddaramaiah said.
Congress insiders believe that many of its legislators want Siddaramaiah to take over the reins of the government again and to sever the alliance with the JD(S). “The leaders want a fresh mandate and many of Siddaramaiah’s loyalists are pushing for re-election. If Congress alone wins 13 Lok Sabha seats, then it does not need JD(S). The party leaders would then want to go for re-election. The biggest problem here is that JD(S) is trying to sabotage the Congress in its strongholds. Congress has nothing to gain by having JD(S) as an ally,” the source said.
The open rebellion by the JD(S) in several parliamentary segments including Tumakuru, Hassan, Mandya, Kolar, Chikkaballapura and Mysuru has made the Congress wary of its coalition partner. “The JD(S) workers have actively tried to sabotage the Congress. They keep feeding false and fake information to the BJP workers about our leaders, who end up targeting us. Why should we give up our political career for the JD(S)? The only ones benefiting here are Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy and the grandsons (referring to Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Prajwal Revanna),” the source added.
Congress leaders believe that if the party manages to win more than 13 segments, they would be able to win a simple majority and come to power without the assistance of the JD(S). "BJP has been reduced to a party of incompetent leaders in Karnataka. The multiple failures Yeddyurappa suffered when he tried to poach Congress MLAs shows just that. This will definitely help the party (Congress) become stronger. If we continue with JD(S), the Gowda family will destroy the Congress in the process,” the source added.