With just a day left for counting of votes for the Lok Sabha election, apprehension has set in, and several Congress leaders are ruing the decision to form a coalition- some openly, some behind closed doors. One MLA who has become vocal about his discontent is Chikkaballapura MLA Dr K Sudhakar.
Talking to TNM K Sudhakar said that the alliance would cost the party dearly in the Lok Sabha elections and stated that it is very likely the Congress would lose in several key constituencies.
“The historical blunder of aligning with JD(S) has costed us dearly and you will see that in the results that will come out on May 23. If the Congress was in Opposition, we would have won more than 50% of the vote share. We will lose out in Southern Karnataka this time and also in coastal and Maratha region. Significantly, we will lose,” he said.
Sudhakar calls the Congress-JD(S) coalition “an unholy alliance”. “Politically, we lost our way. I was the first person to go out in public and say that this is an unholy alliance and that the Congress is making a historic political blunder by aligning with a party which has no ideology,” Dr Sudhakar said.
He also called the JD(S) a party of opportunists and that the JD(S) was responsible for allowing the BJP to make headway in Karnataka. “They are politically the most opportunistic. In fact, in south India, if the BJP has made an entry, it is because of Mr Kumaraswamy, who aligned with the BJP and formed the government. There is no one who follows ideology in that party,” he said.
Sudhakar's disillusionment with the government started months ago when, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy cleared 44 appointments to various state-run boards and corporations, but did not appoint Dr Sudhakar as head of the Karnataka Pollution Control Board as expected. C Jayaram, retired principal chief conservator of forests, was appointed as chairperson in March 2019.
Dr Sudhakar, says that the Congress would have benefited far more if they were sitting in the opposition as opposed to forming an alliance with the JD(S). He says that by clinging to power, the Congress only appeared weak.
“We just went and gave everything on a platter to a party with just 37 MLAs. We made him (HD Kumaraswamy) that Chief Minister and today, since the last one year, we see what kind of governance is going on in the state. We did not have the mandate to rule. This alliance is morally and ethically incorrect,” he said.
“For some political reasons, we were thrown out of power. That did not mean that the Congress had to lose its way. If you see, we have the upper hand in the local body elections, which only means we still have a very strong base in Karnataka even today. Sometimes, we need to rediscover ourselves, especially when we lose,” he says.
Dr Sudhakar also expressed his disappointment with the Congress party and said that personal greed of several leaders had led the party astray. However, he maintained that he had not held talks with any BJP leaders and had not made any moves towards defecting to the BJP.
“I have never made any moves in that (referring to defection) direction but I am very unhappy with the way our own people are in the party. Over the last one year, the leaders have not been following party ideology. The party has a unique ideology. We are true democrats and we believe in the Constitution. Unfortunately, the leaders, for their own personal greed and lust for power, have lost the ground,” he said.
Sources say that Congress rebel MLA from Gokak, Ramesh Jarkiholi, has been tasked by the BJP leaders to bring in over 20 Congress and JD(S) MLAs and topple the coalition government.