Cong fears its prospects may go in South K'taka

Cong fears its prospects may go in South K'taka

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. DH file photo

With the coalition government on the brink of collapse, the Congress is worried that coalition partner JD(S) may blame the grand-old party for the present crisis, which could lead to eroding of its base in South Karnataka.

Despite Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy keeping mum during the entire crisis, the JD(S) may take to the streets to target the Congress for the crisis in the coming days, feels a senior Congress leader.

The JD(S) is considered a Vokkaliga party with a strong base in South Karnataka and the Congress is also a big force there. 

The former may campaign against Congress, blaming it for the unseating of a Vokkaliga chief minister. In South Karnataka, the BJP is not a significant player.

A section in Congress believes that by joining hands with the JD(S), the Congress has tied itself in knots. Though the alliance did not help the party in the recent Lok Sabha elections, it did not try to bring down the alliance government, fearing it may have to face the wrath of the powerful Vokkaliga community.

Since Congress and JD(S) fight for the same space, the JD(S) won’t mind using the government’s fall as a tool to pin down the Congress.

The JD(S) has several times earlier pointed fingers at the Congress, saying the crisis in the government is mainly due to the failure of the grand old party’s inability to keep its flock together.

The JD(S) is likely to sharpen its attack on the Congress, particularly former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, for the crisis, since most of the rebels were his close confidants, said the leader.

The JD(S) leadership had complained to the Congress high command many times, saying that several leaders in the Congress, including Siddaramaiah, were creating hurdles for the smooth sailing of the coalition government. JD(S) leaders had targeted Siddaramaiah and his followers for the defeat of Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of Kumaraswamy, in the Lok Sabha election from the Mandya seat.

The JD(S) leaders still believe that had the Congress agreed to its suggestion for a total reshuffle of the Cabinet by inducting all rebel leaders, the present crisis could have been avoided.

However, some Congress leaders, particularly Siddaramaiah, did not agree to  this and the chief minister could induct only two rebel leaders in the Cabinet, said a leader from the JD(S).