Continuing ties a knotty affair for Congress, JD(S)

Continuing ties a knotty affair for Congress, JD(S)

Former minister H D Revanna, caretaker Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, JD(S) working president H K Kumaraswamy and former prime minister H D Devegowda and others take part in JDS legislature party meeting in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (DH Photo)

The Congress and the JD(S) are undecided on the future of their alliance after the coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy failed to prove its majority. 

Both parties, which held separate meetings on Wednesday, said their immediate priority was to focus on strengthening their organisation. 

JD(S) legislature party leader H D Kumaraswamy said continuation of the alliance depended on the Congress. Speaking to reporters after chairing the JD(S) legislature party meeting, Kumaraswamy said: “I don’t want to discuss that issue (on the future of the alliance. If the Congress wants it, we will join hands. Else, we will work on our own and strengthen ourselves.”

Traditional rivals, the Congress and the JD(S) formed a coalition soon after the May 2018 Assembly results threw a fractured mandate. The two parties came together to form Karnataka’s fourth coalition regime - the first one was in 1983 with the Janata Party and BJP, second in 2004 with the Congress and the JD(S) and the third was in 2006 with the JD(S) and BJP. 

The coalition was formed in a hurry and both parties had to face backlash from their grassroots cadre. The lack of coordination and internal contradictions are said to be among the reasons for the alliance losing the Lok Sabha elections badly.  

The Congress, too, was mum on the way forward for the alliance. “The decision to form the alliance was taken by the high command. So, we will follow whatever the high command decides,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Dinesh Gundu Rao said. 

Rao held talks with Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, former deputy chief minister G Parameshwara, former minister D K Shivakumar and others. “We’ve decided to stay united and work on strengthening the party. We also discussed how we should face the challenges that are lined up,” Rao said.