In Karnataka crisis, a behind the scene battle between Kharge and Siddaramaiah
Bengaluru, July 08: Is the personal rivalry between Deve Gowda and Siddaramaiah hitting the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka?
Gowda had publicly accused, Siddaramaiah of orchestrating the crisis in Karnataka after 13 MLAs resigned. Gowda said that the MLAs who resigned are supporters of Siddaramaiah. I know he is behind the crisis, the former prime minister also said.
During a meeting between Gowda and D K Shivakumar, the time tested trouble shooter of the Congress, the former had said that all this had been staged so that Siddaramaiah can become the chief minister. While Shivakumar said that this could be the only option, Gowda is said to have rejected the proposal.
Gowda, according to sources said at the meeting that if the proposal by the Congress was to make Siddaramaiah the CM, then he would rather withdraw support. Instead, Gowda said that he would be ready to back Mallikarjun Kharge.
While a large number of MLAs may back the Kharge, proposal, this would hit a road block as Siddaramaiah and his supporters may not follow suit.
In the back drop of these developments, the Congress is keeping a close watch on four of its MLAs, who are likely to withdraw their resignations.
The Congress feels that it can bring back on board, N Munirathna, S T Somashekhar, B Basavaraju and Ramalinga Reddy. If the Congress manages to do so, the BJP would find it difficult to form the government. In case Ramalinga Reddy takes back his resignation, then his daughter Soumya Reddy too would follow suit and this would add back 5 to the kitty of the Congress and the numbers of the coalition would stand at 110.
In the case of Reddy, he has raised two grouses. Firstly he bas been kept out of the ministry. Further he has expressed unhappiness with the fact that the Deputy Chief Minister, G Parameshwar had curtailed the powers of the BBMP Mayor, Gangambika Mallikarjun, considered to be close to Reddy.
Parameshwar on Sunday had clarified that he had not done anything to hurt Reddy intentionally. There is no need for the Bengaluru MLAs to have any problem with me. It is their opinion, he had said.
However on Monday, his tone appeared to have changed. He said that even he is ready to step down to accommodate the disgruntled MLAs.
He told reporters here that he has called for a meeting of all Congress ministers. We are looking at all options. If the need arises, all Congress ministers will resign to accommodate those who are disgruntled, he also said.
We are trying to save the government. If the party tells me, even I am ready to resign, he also said.