Mysuru deadlock ends, but Mandya woes continue

Mysuru deadlock ends, but Mandya woes continue

Siddaramaiah with senior Congress leaders

A crucial meeting between coordination committee chairman Siddaramaiah and Congress leaders from Mandya on campaigning jointly for the Lok Sabha polls failed to yield any breakthrough on Sunday.

Congress leaders N Chaluvaraya Swamy, Ramesh Bandi Siddegowda and others refused to campaign for the coalition candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy even though Siddaramaiah urged them to be patient and promised to address their concerns.  

The parties will meet again on Monday, as the Congress continues its attempts to pacify party workers and convince them to campaign together for the coalition candidate. The decision to not campaign for the coalition candidate came despite Congress high command’s diktat.

However, there was some relief for the coalition in Mysuru, as leaders from both the parties jointly addressed the media. Minister G T Devegowda, who was unhappy with Siddaramaiah, said he had spoken to the former CM based on JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda’s advice and settled their differences.

Following the meeting in Bengaluru, Chaluvaraya Swamy told reporters that they would take a call on the issues discussed with Siddaramaiah after consulting with party workers. “We will discuss the directions issued by Siddaramaiah with our party workers. It remains to be seen whether we will be required to campaign or not,” he said.

On whether they would take part in Rahul Gandhi’s campaign scheduled in Mandya constituency on April 13, he said there is still time to take a call on the matter. He also indicated that they wouldn’t be averse to facing disciplinary action over the issue.

Sumalatha’s candidature in Mandya against Nikhil has divided the coalition partners, with several Congress workers backing the former in public. The support, in violation of the coalition strategy, has put a spanner into the coalition’s poll strategies while irking Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy no end.

During the meeting, the rebels raised questions on the “back stabbers” remark by Kumaraswamy. The Congress leaders also questioned why they should be campaigning for Nikhil, as they will be sidelined soon after the elections.

Promising to raise the issue with Kumaraswamy, Siddaramaiah said he would hold talks with him and address their concerns.