An ugly spat surfaced between the coalition partners on Friday with KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao and PWD Minister H D Revanna engaging in a war of words, spelling further trouble for the government, which is already on a shaky wicket.
Revanna, who has been already come under flak for his “autocratic” conduct and “ill-treating” Congress leaders, was told off by Rao, for “speaking out of turn”.
Rao also suggested Revanna not to discuss the growing differences between the two parties, openly.
The Congress leader saw an immediate backlash from Revanna, who said, “nobody, expect his father and his brother, had the right to tell him what to do.”
All was not well between the two parties, which have been engaged in a turf war, ever since the second round of Cabinet expansion.
The internal bickering between the partners over the contentious appointments to the statutory boards and corporations and political advisor to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has been out in the open.
The JD(S), which was eyeing statutory bodies including Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL), saw red over its party MLAs being arbitrarily sidelined by the Congress leaders, which appointed its own MLAs to these posts.
Revanna is also being obstinate about holding on to the Ports and Inland portfolio, which the Congress has allocated to R B Thimmapur.
Admitting there were differences of opinion between the two parties, Rao charged that some of the JD(S) leaders were making statements without understanding the ground reality.
“There are some problems, I agree, but we’re in a coalition set up. We will talk and sort it out internally. There’s a mechanism in place to do that. Revanna should stop making statements openly. It’s not good,” Rao said on Friday during a press meet, reacting to Revanna’s recent remarks that he will not allow the Congress to interfere in his department.
Rao, however, expressed confidence that the coalition government would survive the full term as the two parties would resolve the differences amicably through discussions.
“Challenges will come but we do have the strength to resolve it amicably by discussion,” he added.
Reacting sharply to Rao’s remarks, Revanna said, “Who is he to warn/advise me? I only listen to H D Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy. I have been elected as an MLA five times.
Nobody needs to advise me or tell me to exercise restraint. I haven’t put forth any demands for appointments to boards and corporations. Let him (Rao) first learn to control his own MLAs,” he said.