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Karnataka: Former PM Deve Gowda explains why Congress-JDS coalition government collapsed

JD(S) supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda hinted that both the parties Congress, JD(S) were responsible for the collapse of their coalition government in Karnataka. Gowda blamed Siddaramaiah for wrong decisions within the Congress high command

Karnataka Former PM Deve Gowda explains why Congress JDS coalition government collapsed
Bengaluru, First Published Aug 23, 2019, 9:45 AM IST
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JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda on Thursday (August 22) indicated that the Congress-JDS coalition government in Karnataka collapsed because the national party's high command decided to make his son HD Kumaraswamy the chief minister without consulting its leader Siddaramaiah.

Continuing to target former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, the former prime minister termed the Congress high command decision’s wrong, a day after he had alleged that a few Congress friends wanted to unseat the coalition government as they could not see Kumaraswamy as chief minister.

"I have clearly said that without taking Siddaramaiah, who was chief minister for five years, into confidence, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi all of a sudden came and said Kumaraswamy is the next chief minister, it was their wrong decision," Gowda told reporters on Thursday.

He was referring to his interview to a newspaper in which he had held Siddaramiah responsible for the collapse of the government last month, but in remarks made on Thursday he did not name Siddaramaiah.

The coalition government collapsed on July 22 after the confidence motion moved chief minister Kumaraswamy was defeated in the Assembly, bringing to an end his 14-month long turbulent tenure marked by dissidence within the Congress.

Raising a banner of rebellion, sixteen MLAs (13 from the Congress and 3 JDS) had resigned as legislators which culminated in the fall of the coalition government.

Siddaramaiah had come under criticism after the government collapsed as most of the rebel Congress MLAs, including ST Somashekar, Byrati Basavaraj, MTB Nagaraj, Munirathna and K Sudhakar, were considered his loyalists.

However, rubbishing claims that he instigated those MLAs to resign and destabilise the government, Siddaramaiah had called the allegations as false and made with malafide intention.

Rebel MLAs are trying to shift the blame on me after widespread public backlash against them for betraying and back-stabbing both the electorate and the party. Everything will be clear when the dust settles but by then they would have bitten the dust, he had tweeted.

The Congress and JD(S) considered as arch rivals, especially in old Mysuru region, had bitterly fought against each other during the 2018 Assembly poll, but joined hands after the election threw up a hung verdict to keep the BJP, the single largest party in the 225-member Assembly, out of power.

Since day one, the government was facing trouble from within as barring the top leaders of both parties, their rank and file did not accept the alliance.

Reflecting on the strains in the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, Kumaraswamy had once said he was "not happy" being in the top post and was swallowing the pain like ''Vishakantha'' (Lord Shiva), who drank poison.

At one stage, many legislators and ministers from the Congress demanded that their legislature party chief Siddaramaiah be made the chief minister, prompting Kumaraswamy to even threaten to step down before the rebels took the decisive step of resigning as MLAs.

Following the collapse of the government, the BJP, under the leadership of BS Yediyurappa, has assumed power on July 26 and proved its majority in the Assembly two days later.

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