Tit-for-tat widens trust deficit in coalition govt

Upset with the JD(S) not extending its full cooperation in Mysuru-Kodagu seat, Siddaramaiah is learnt to have recently complained against the regional party to AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal. (DH File Photo)

Higher Education Minister G T Devegowda’s admission that some JD(S) workers have voted for the BJP in Mysuru, and the Mandya rebel Congress leaders holding dinner meeting with independent candidate Sumalatha, have made it evident the alliance partners failed to iron out their differences and ensure smooth transfer of votes in the two constituencies.

The developments also show the widening trust deficit between the Congress and the JD(S), especially in the old Mysuru region: The JD(S) is said to be behind leaking the video clip of the rebel leaders’ dinner with Sumalatha to the media. The intention was to embarrass and corner the alliance partner Congress for its inability to follow the coalition dharma in Mandya.

The regional party leaders, who refused to be quoted, squarely blamed the Congress’ reluctance to rein in the rebel leaders for the alliance facing problems in Mandya and Mysuru-Kodagu parliamentary seats. Coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah chose to turn a blind eye on the activities of the rebels during the campaign despite Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy repeatedly drawing their attention in this regard.

The rebels not only kept off the campaign of the alliance candidate, but indirectly supported Sumalatha. Sensing this, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda had openly stated that “even Siddaramaiah cannot help (Nikhil) now,” the JD(S) leaders pointed out. Interestingly, majority of the rebel leaders, including N Chaluvarayaswamy, Ramesh Bandisiddegowda and H C Balakrishna, who quit the JD(S) and joined the Congress during 2018 Assembly polls, are Siddaramaiah followers.

With the Congress not taking any action against the rebel leaders in Mandya, the JD(S) leaders said to have resorted to tit-for-tat action in Mysuru-Kodagu parliamentary seat. Tourism Minister S R Mahesh had, during the election campaign, warned the national party that the JD(S) would not mind letting down the Congress’ C H Vijayashankar in Mysuru-Kodagu if its leaders refuse to cooperate with JD-S’ Nikhil in Mandya.

Upset with the JD(S) not extending its full cooperation in Mysuru-Kodagu seat, Siddaramaiah is learnt to have recently complained against the regional party to AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal. So, G T Devegowda chose to clarify it in public by stating that the JD(S) voted for the BJP in some places due to delay on the Congress’ part to start the joint campaign, the sources said.

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