The coalition coordination and monitoring committee, which is meant to iron out differences between Congress and JD(S), seems to be mired in the prevailing tension between the alliance partners.
A plan to accommodate the state presidents of both the parties - Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao and JD(S) state president A H Vishwanath - has hit a roadblock, as old rivalries seem to die hard.
Apparently, committee chairperson Siddaramaiah is not in favour of Vishwanath coming aboard as there is no love lost between them, especially after Vishwanath is said to have worked towards Siddaramaiah’s huge defeat in the Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency in the May 12 elections last year.
Vishwanath quit the Congress in 2017 after falling out with Siddaramaiah. Vishwanath, who belongs to the backward Kuruba community like Siddaramaiah, is considered to be the non-Vokkaliga face of the JD(S) in the Vokkaliga-dominated old Mysuru region. He has been pressing for the inclusion of Rao and himself in the committee.
“Since Siddaramaiah doesn’t want Vishwanath, even Rao hasn’t been able to get in. It’s only fair that heads of both parties should be in the committee,” a senior Congress leader said.
The Congress, which is preparing for early Lok Sabha elections, is desperate to ensure that its alliance with the JD(S) continues smoothly till the elections. It is on this basis that a section of Congress leaders has been making a case for Rao’s inclusion in the committee.
At present, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, All India Congress Committee general secretary incharge of Karnataka
K C Venugopal and JD(S)
leader Danish Ali are members of the committee, which has met only thrice so far. The committee will meet “at least once a month,” Venugopal had said in June last year, while announcing the formation of the committee.