Some Congmen want party to pull out of coalition govt

Some Congmen want party to pull out of coalition govt

Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. DH file photo

Buoyed by the victory of Congress in three north Indian states, a section of party leaders in Karnataka is exerting pressure on the party top brass to withdraw the support extended to the JD(S) government in Karnataka and face Legislative Assembly polls along with Lok Sabha polls.

A Congress leader said that the three state assembly poll results indicate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity is decreasing.

Some leaders have also suggested to the party’s central leadership that Congress will certainly come to power with comfortable seats if the Karnataka Assembly elections are held at this juncture.

Though some sections of state leaders are getting restive with the JD(S), the central leadership of Congress is disinclined to rock the boat of JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state as it can send a wrong message to other Opposition parties at a time when Congress is attempting to sew up a larger Opposition alliance against BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“With the large number of Congress MLAs expressing unhappiness over the functioning style of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and too much interference by his brother-PWD Minister H D Revanna, it is better to withdraw the support and go for elections,” a leader told DH requesting anonymity.  

The leaders have also suggested the party leaders that if the Congress withdraws the support now, the probability of JD(S) going with BJP to form the government is unlikely. This will not only expose JD(S), but BJP as well. With all these things, the current situation is advantageous for the Congress in the state, the party must explore this option, several leaders suggested.

Some MLAs have also suggested this to former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who has returned to the state after cutting short his Malaysia tour. He is learnt to have agreed to take up this matter with the party high command.

To keep BJP away from the power, the Congress had offered unconditional support to the JD(S) for five years. But many Congress leaders in the state feel that the JD(S) leadership is not following coalition dharma and is instead ill-treating the major coalition partner.

“The recent bypoll for assembly and Lok Sabha and urban local bodies polls results showed that Congress is losing its ground in Old Mysuru region. In Old Mysuru region, the BJP is making inroads at the cost of Congress as a large number of Congress votes are shifting towards the BJP. These developments are dangerous for the Congress in the long run,”  the leader said.

Since there is a friction between JD(S)-Congress government from day one, the expansion of Cabinet will not help, but will trigger further crises in the government due to a large number aspirants for a few vacant berths, the leader added.