Sulking Horatti fires at 'rubber stamp' HDK

Sulking Horatti fires at 'rubber stamp' HDK

Basavaraj Horatti

Veteran JD(S) leader Basavaraj Horatti turned against the Congress-JD(S) coalition on Wednesday as he launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy who, he said, has become “the Congress rubber stamp”.

Horatti also targeted the Congress “for not keeping the promises it made when it reached out to the JD(S) to form the government”.

Horatti’s outburst came on a day when he stepped down as pro tem Legislative Council chairperson to make way for Congress’ K Prathap Chandra Shetty. Horatti wanted to continue as the Council chairperson.

“The chief minister cannot and should not be a rubber stamp, but that is what is happening,” Horatti told reporters. “The Congress made promises at the time of extending support to the JD(S) to form the government, which it hasn’t kept. The JD(S) should take a strong stand on this.”

A loyal JD(S) member, Horatti is sulking not only because he could not bag the Legislative Council chairperson’s post, but he is uncertain on his chances of making it into Kumaraswamy’s Cabinet when it is expanded.  

The former minister also expressed displeasure over Congress ministers taking decisions without keeping Kumaraswamy in the loop.

“The Congress is on a high after winning Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. If it fails to maintain coalition principles, the JD(S) leadership will take an appropriate decision,” Horatti said.

The alliance partners had engaged in a turf war over the Council chairperson’s post, with Horatti tipped to be the regional party’s candidate. This was based on the argument that the JD(S) had supported the Congress in making K R Ramesh Kumar the Speaker of the Assembly.

On the night of December 10, Horatti said, he received a call from JD(S) supremo
H D Deve Gowda. “I was asked to file nomination for the Council chairperson’s post the next day. On December 11 morning, I was told it’d be a Congress candidate because the Congress has a majority in the Council,” Horatti said.

At the Council, soon after Shetty took charge, Horatti made his disgruntlement obvious: “I hoped I’d become the chairman as that could have helped the welfare of north Karnataka.”

Even senior Congress leader S R Patil, who was to have been the party’s candidate for the coveted post, expressed himself. “It’d be wrong if I didn’t admit that this part of the state has suffered injustice. People of 13 districts have no adequate representation in the seats of power,” he said.