'Refrain from commenting on Cong's internal matters'

'Refrain from commenting on Cong's internal matters'

Dinesh Gundu Rao

The Congress on Saturday asked its coalition partner JD(S) to refrain from commenting on the internal decisions of the party.

This was in response to Public Works Minister H D Revanna chiding the Congress for divesting Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara of the Home portfolio.

“Revanna’s outburst is unnecessary. What happens to Parameshwara is the prerogative of our party. How is he concerned with Congress’ decisions?” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao said.

In a statement, Revenue Minister R V Deshpande expressed dismay over Revanna accusing the Congress of meting out injustice to Parameshwara, a Dalit. “How many Dalits have been made ministers in the JD(S),” Deshpande asked Revanna.

But clearly, patience is wearing thin in the Congress camp over the JD(S) getting assertive and aggressive in the coalition set up. “We have ceded too much ground to the JD(S),” a Cabinet minister of the Congress told DH. “The JD(S) knows that the onus of keeping the coalition together is on the Congress, because our high command wants it. And as a result, the JD(S) is leaving no opportunity to get the better of us. We should be more assertive as well,” the minister said.

According to sources in the Congress camp, the JD(S) has identified at least 70-80 Assembly constituencies where it has started strengthening its base much to the heartburn of local Congress cadres. A senior MLC, known to be a close aide of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, said the JD(S) becoming bullish was part of its expansion plans.

“We have to live with this for another 3-4 months, until the Lok Sabha election,” the MLC said. He pointed out that it was imminent for the Congress to fight the Lok Sabha election with the JD(S) in order to make the most out of “an anti-BJP mood” in north India. “We’ve been telling our legislators to soldier on. Who knows what’ll happen after the Lok Sabha polls?”

Rao maintained that the current rumblings between the alliance partners would not affect their plan to fight the Lok Sabha polls together. “On appointments to boards and corporations, there’s some conflict with respect to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the post of deputy chairperson of the planning commission. The rest have been allocated in consultation with the JD(S),” Rao said.