Future of Congress-JDS alliance to depend on high command, says H D Deve Gowda
Bengaluru, July 28: Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch H D Deve Gowda on Sunday said the future of his party's alliance with Congress would depend on the decision of the high command of the grand old party, based on the advice of their Karnataka leadership.
The former prime minister also made it clear that Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah would officially be the leader of the opposition in the assembly and not his son and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.
"Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, who has now resigned as party president - on their orders Kumaraswamy had agreed to become chief minister. The future [of the alliance] will depend on whatever the high command [Congress] will decide, based on the advice of their partystate leaders. I don't want to comment on it further now," H D Deve Gowda told reporters.
"Kumaraswamy is not officially the leader of the opposition. For three years and eight months of Yediyurappa's government, Siddarmaiah will officially be the leader of the opposition... Kumarawamy is the floor leader of a political party," H D Deve Gowda added.
A day after the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) government n Karnataka, the coalition leadership, including Kmaraswamy on Wednesday had remained non-committal on the future of their alliance.
Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao too had maintained that the alliance was decided by the high command and the state unit would follow its instructions on the matter.
Congress and JD(S), considered arch rivals, especially in old Mysuru region, had joined hands to form a coalition government after the May 2018 assembly polls threw up a hung verdict.
Both parties were routed in the recent Lok Sabha polls, winning just one seat each of total of 28 seats in the state, as grassroot level workers of both parties were not happy with the alliance.
Coalition worries and dissidence within had repeatedly threatened the government's stability and raised questions about its longevity.
The resignation of 15 MLAs -- 12 from the Congress and three from JD(S) and independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh withdrawing their support to the coalition government, compounded matters, pushing the government to the brink.
In the trial of legislative strength after resignation of the MLAs, Kumaraswamy had garnered 99 votes against the 105 by the opposition BJP, following which he resigned.
Responding to a question, H D Deve Gowda said he would react to charges levelled against him and his son Kumaraswamy by rebel MLAs once they come back and 'reveal certain things."
"I will meet the press and react after that," H D Deve Gowda said.
Karnataka assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar on Sunday disqualified 14 more Congress-JD(S) rebel MLAs under the anti-defection law, taking the total tally of disqualified legislators to 17, which will not have any direct impact on Yediyurappa government's trust vote on Monday.
H D Deve Gowda also got emotional as he pointed out that he could not give government positions to many loyal party workers, despite being in power.
"We were in difficulty... I did not give positions to karyakartas who fought for me," H D Deve Gowda added.