Gowda says no to Siddaramaiah as CM, favours Kharge

Gowda says no to Siddaramaiah as CM, favours Kharge

Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar holds talks with JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda at the latter's residence in view of the political crisis in the state, in Bengaluru on Sunday. Rajya Sabha member D Kupendra Reddy, JD(S) state president H K Kumaraswam

JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda is learnt to have on Sunday categorically told the coalition partner, the Congress, that his party will pull out of the coalition if it decides to instal Siddaramaiah as the chief minister, replacing H D Kumaraswamy.

Sources in the JD(S) said that Gowda told Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar, who met the former at his Padmanabhanagar residence, that his party MLAs were not in favour of Siddaramaiah becoming the chief minister. Shivakumar met Gowda to discuss the strategy to save the coalition which is facing the threat of rebellion following resignation of 13 MLAs.

Gowda conveyed this message to the coalition partner in the wake of reports that a section rebel MLAs was ready to withdraw resignation letters if Siddaramaiah was made the chief minister. Of 10 Congress MLAs who resigned on Saturday, three are the close followers of Siddaramaiah.

The sources said Gowda expressed anguish at the developments and blamed Siddaramaiah for orchestrating the political drama that has brought the H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government on the verge of collapse.

"I am aware who is behind all this. The person who is creating trouble today had approached me on forming the coalition government," the JD(S) leader said during the meeting.

Gowda, however, is said to be in favour of senior leader Mallikarjuna Kharge becoming the chief minister.