The rivalry between former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah and JD(S) chief Deve Gowda has once again came to fore amid political crisis in the state. Addressing the media on Sunday, Gowda alleged that the 13 Congress-JD(S) MLAs who have resigned were supporters of Siddaramaiah. “I know Siddaramaiah is behind the political turmoil in the state. Those who had resigned are his supporters,” he said.
“Siddaramaiah is behind everything. The MLAs (who resigned) are his followers. He has been doing it ever since we formed the government. Even after knowing about his game plan, I will not let him become CM again. If that is your (Congress) proposal, then we will withdraw our support,” a source quoted Gowda as saying in a meeting with Congress troubleshooter DK Shivakumar, reported News18.
A senior Congress leader, who is tasked to keep the party MLAs together, has also blamed Siddaramaiah for sabotaging Karnataka government coalition, terming the former chief minister "a thief inside the party."
The senior party leader, on the condition of anonymity, said: "Siddaramaiah is playing games to wreck the Congress-JDS coalition for his prestige."
"There are thieves inside the house (Congress). One man (Siddaramaiah) is doing this for his prestige. He is playing all these games. MLAs who are there (in Mumbai) are in constant touch with Siddaramaiah but I don't know what my party high command is doing," he said.
Siddaramaiah, however, appealed to party leaders and activists not to speak against the alliance government, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy or JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda.
"I appeal to our leaders and activists not to speak against the alliance government, Chief Minister or Deve Gowda. Beware of the quarrelling wind news that opponents are raising for the alliance," the Congress leader said in a tweet.
Siddaramaiah refuted claims about him being the reason behind the crisis.
"I am in touch with 5-6 MLAs. I can't reveal all the details. Everybody is loyal to the party. It is not a question of a person being loyal to me. Everybody is expected to be loyal to the party," Siddaramaiah had told reporters.
The JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka is facing a crisis after 12 MLAs of the alliance submitted their resignations to the state Assembly Speaker on Saturday.
The troubled ruling coalition, which has 118 MLAs in the 224-member Assembly, faces the risk of losing its majority in the House if the resignations are accepted.
Both the JD(S) and the Congress have been plagued by dissension over allocation of ministerial berths and distribution of Lok Sabha poll tickets. The cracks became deeper after the BJP swept the parliamentary election in the state.
Ten of the MLAs who resigned flew by the chartered plane to Mumbai on Saturday. They have been lodged at a hotel there.
Meanwhile, Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) leader and Higher Education Minister GT Devegowda said he would not have any objection if Congress leader Siddaramaiah becomes the state chief minister.
"If the Congress-JDS Co-ordination Committee decides to make Siddaramaiah the Chief Minister, I will have no objection," he told reporters.
Devegowda said that if instructed, he is ready to resign from the party too.
"If my party decides, I am ready to resign. I am not going to the BJP. Ours is a coalition government for the betterment of the state," said the JDS leader.