Congress snubs Rayareddi for speaking against CM

The Congress has censured yet another leader for speaking out against Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, in what looks like the grand old party’s crackdown on voices that could end up antagonising its alliance partner, the JD(S). DH file photo

The Congress has censured yet another leader for speaking out against Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, in what looks like the grand old party’s crackdown on voices that could end up antagonising its alliance partner, the JD(S).

Former minister Basavaraj Rayareddi got a rap from Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao over the phone on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Rayareddi had chided Kumaraswamy for throwing tantrums, asking the chief minister why he suffered from “inferiority complex” and urged him to “show leadership” instead.

Rao tweeted, "I’ve seen Basavaraj Rayareddy’s statement. It’s completely inappropriate. I’ve spoken to him & have strictly told him to be careful with any future comments".

“The Congress and the JD(S) are committed to working together and our goal is to see the end of this despotic rule of Mr Modi," he said.

On Monday, Kumaraswamy had threatened to resign after Congress legislators, including Cabinet ministers M T B Nagaraju and C Puttarangashetty, hailed Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah as their chief minister. Annoyed, Kumaraswamy cribbed that the Congress was “crossing the line” and asked the party to “control their MLAs.” This threat sent the Congress leadership into a tizzy and AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka KC Venugopal intervened to soothe tempers.

Yeshwanthpur MLA S T Somashekhar was made to apologise for saying development had taken a beating in the Kumaraswamy's administration and went a step further to taunt the JD(S) as a party that thrived on dynasty politics.

JD(S) members continued to attack “motormouth” Congress legislators. The KPCC president said he had already asked his party colleagues to refrain from saying anything in public that may lead to friction or embarrassment. “This should apply to JD(S) as well,” Rao told reporters. “Rayareddi got carried away in the flow of his speech, which stemmed from his admiration for Siddaramaiah,” he said.

Rayareddi, who lost the Assembly election last year, had defended Congress legislators. “What our MLAs said was correct. I also say that Siddaramaiah should become the chief minister again. He’s one of the best chief ministers Karnataka has had,” he had said.

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Congress snubs Rayareddi for speaking against CM

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