K'taka: Blame game over coalition govt's fall continues

Siddaramaiah had come under criticism after the government collapsed as most of the rebel Congress MLAs, including S T Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj, M T B Nagaraj, Munirathna and K Sudhakar, were considered his loyalists.

The war of words between the Congress and JDS continued unabated with Siddaramaiah on Sunday slamming H D Kumaraswamy for treating him as an "enemy" and indicated that it led to the fall of the coalition government headed by the latter.

His comments were in response to Kumaraswamy's recent interview to a news portal, in which he reportedly said Siddaramaiah treated JD(S) as its first enemy. However, Kumaraswamy on Sunday clarified that he had not made such remarks and his interview had been 'distorted'.

"There lies the problem. He (Kumaraswamy) started nurturing grudge against me by treating me as an enemy. Instead of foe, had he considered me as a friend, a trusted man and an ally from the coalition party, nothing would have happened," Siddaramaiah told reporters in Mysuru.

The Congress stalwart charged Kumaraswamy with "hiding" his failure by blaming others. "How can I be an enemy? Those who don't know how to rule say such things," Siddaramaiah said. The JD(S) leader had reportedly alleged that Siddaramaiah was never happy with the government formation under him.

Kumaraswamy in a tweet said: "Some news channels have distorted my interview to a news portal a few days ago. "I had only said that more than BJP, Siddaramaiah had targeted our party during the elections but I never said Siddaramaiah is my first enemy. There is no need for unwanted confusion," he said. Almost a month after the fall of the coalition government, a political slugfest has broken out between Congress leader Siddaramaiah and the JD(S) first family led by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda with each blaming the other for it.

Gowda in an interview to a newspaper on Thursday had held Siddaramaiah accountable for the fall of the government. The JD(S) patriarch had termed as "wrong" the decision of Congress high command to make Kumaraswamy the Chief Minister without taking Siddaramaiah into confidence before forming the coalition government, saying the Congress strong man in the state was unable to accept it. Siddaramaiah had rubbished the charge very next day, terming the allegations "baseless, politically motivated and false."

The Congress-JDS government collapsed on July 22 after the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy was defeated in the assembly, bringing to an end his 14-month long turbulent tenure marked by dissidence within the Congress. Siddaramaiah had come under criticism after the government collapsed as most of the rebel Congress MLAs, including S T Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj, M T B Nagaraj, Munirathna and K Sudhakar, were considered his loyalists.

However, rubbishing claims that he instigated those MLAs to resign and destabilise the government, Siddaramaiah had alleged the unilateral style of functioning of the JDS leadership led to the collapse of the government.

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