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Has the JD(S)-Congress govt run its course in Karnataka?

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    The developments or trouble as we may call it do not seem to end in Karnataka. With just a few days remaining for the budget to be presented, there is speculation rife that attempts are being made to pull down the four week old Karnataka government led by Chief Minister, H D Kumaraswamy.

    HD Kumaraswamy

    In the midst of this, a video has surfaced where former Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah is heard expressing doubts on whether this government would run its full course. It may be also recalled that Kumaraswamy himself had said he was not sure about his job after 2019. He had said that he is sure to be in power at least until 2019.

    Since the time the two parties formed the government despite not having the mandate, there has been trouble. It began with the allocation of portfolios. The next problem was the presentation of a full budget, which the coordination committee head, Siddaramaiah did not approve of. Both parties are also not on the same line when it comes to the farm loan waiver either.

    Adding to the speculation was B S Yeddyurappa of the BJP dashing off to Ahmedabad to meet with party chief Amit Shah. Yeddyurappa accompanied by Basavaraj Bommai and met Shah and invited him for the BJP's executive meeting to be held on June 29. During the meeting, the leaders also discussed the trouble within the coalition. Shah however advised Yeddyurappa not to take any hasty step.

    The Karnataka legislature session begins on July 2, following which the budget will be presented 3 days later. On the first day of the session, Yeddyurappa is likely to move a no-confidence motion. Sources say that there are some leaders within the Congress who are ready to pull down this government.

    Several Lingayat leaders in the Congress are disgruntled after missing out on a ministerial berth. The high command has managed to keep their quiet for now, but has not managed to convince them as yet.

    On being asked about the developments, Yeddyurappa said the would "silently" watch the goings-on in the ruling Congress-JDS coalition without trying to take any advantage of the "confusing" situation and instead focus on the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He said the BJP would play the role of a responsible opposition and focus on winning maximum seats in the Lok Sabha polls in the state.

    "... There is a confusing situation... Siddaramaiah (CLP leader) makes some statement and Kumaraswamy (chief minister) makes a different statement. In this confusing situation we don't want to intervene," he said. "I have requested all our BJP leaders that in such a situation we should silently watch the political developments, without speaking much," he added.

    Meanwhile a video showing former chief minister Siddaramaiah purportedly expressing doubts about the longevity of the JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka has surfaced, adding to the strains in the coalition.

    In the video telecast by the regional TV channels on Tuesday, Siddaramaiah can be heard purportedly speaking sceptically about the government completing its five years term.

    When someone asks him about completing five years, he says "five years...difficult...let's see what will happen after the parliament election (in 2019)."

    "They (government) will remain until parliament elections are over, after that, what all developments will happen (we will have to see)," he added.

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