Failed motion in Council, mining case create rift between Congress and JD(S) in Karnataka

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The camaraderie that Congress and JD(S) shared during the Gundlupet and Nanjangud bypoll has gone missing. After a gentleman's agreement during the bypolls that sparked speculations of a possible pre-poll alliance for 2018, both parties have grown apart. The Janthakal mining case that has returned to haunt H D Kumaraswamy, as well as Congress', failed no-confidence motion against the Karnataka Council chairman has turned ties bitter between the parties.

H D Kumaraswamy

"Are we slaves of the Congress? Have we even said that we would work according to their whims? They have taken the JD(S) for granted," said H D Kumaraswamy, the state president of JD(S). The Congress moved a no-confidence motion against the Karnataka council chairman D H Shankaramurthy only to lose by a single vote. The Congress that was confident of JD(S) backing the motion was left embarrassed.

Soon after their motion failed to get approval by the House, the Congress accused the JD(S) of siding with 'a communal party'. D H Shankaramurthy is a BJP man and had admitted the motion despite the Congress not citing reasons for 'no-confidence'. Admitting for the first time that the Congress won the bypolls with the JD(S)' help, Kumaraswamy said that the party had no sense of gratitude. "The Congress seems to have forgotten that it won Gundlupet and Nanjangud bypolls because of the JD(S)' help. They thanked us then but are not accusing us of siding with communal factors," Kumaraswamy claimed.

Mining case is doing ties no good

With elections less than a year away, the Congress and JD(S) were expected to enter into an official pre-poll alliance or an unofficial post-poll agreement to stand united against the BJP. With two cases in connection with Janthakal mines company making a comeback, Kumaraswamy has accused Congress of harassing him. The former Chief Minister's aides believe that pressure is being built on Kumaraswamy through investigative agencies to play along with the Congress, an allegation that Siddaramaiah's party has rubbished.

With the BJP on a consolidation mode, the JD(S) and Congress were expected to form a Bihar-like alliance to counter the BJP's winning streak. With the JD(S) refusing to support the Congress in the council and Kumaraswamy accusing the Congress of a witchhunt, the possibility of a united fight against the BJP has taken a backseat.

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