Bengaluru: With the Congress battling to stop the exit of dissident MLAs from the party soon after legislators Anand Singh and Ramesh Jarkiholi resigned from the Assembly, there are at least a few leaders in the JD(S) who are smiling. Reason: the resignations have come at a time when former CM Siddaramaiah, who does not enjoy cordial ties with many JD(S) leaders, was tightening his grip on the state Congress with the latest jolt sure to affect his stature as the numero uno in the Karnataka Congress.
In fact JD(S) supremo Mr H.D. Deve Gowda had spoken of mid-term polls soon after AICC President Mr Rahul Gandhi turned down his request to contain Siddaramaiah. However, the latest development, which proves that Siddaramaiah as Congress Legislature Party(CLP) has failed to keep his flock together, has come as a blessing in disguise for the JD(S).
On Monday, after the resignation of the two MLAs, Mr Gowda refused to comment on the issue and said that he would talk to the media in a day or two.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who is on a tour in the US tweeted, putting the blame for the resignations on the BJP and said the saffron party would not succeed in its plan.
Soon after the dismal performance in the Lok Sabha polls, Siddaramaiah had met Mr Gandhi and convinced him that the coalition with the JD(S) was the main reason for the dismal performance of the Congress in Karnataka when it could win only one of the 28 seats. He also reportedly presented a road map for the Congress in Karnataka saying the party could end the coalition with the JD(S) after December and then give Mr Deve Gowda's party the choice of supporting a Dalit CM.
The JD(S) would then be left with three choices- Either hand over the CM post to the Congress or call for fresh polls. The only other option for the JD(S) would be join hands with the BJP and form a government.
With Siddaramaiah also planning to restart his AHINDA movement to strengthen the Congress before the next Assembly election, Mr Gandhi reportedly gave the green signal for this plan. In fact Siddaramaiah proved his clout during the recent bureaucrat transfers and also in the appointment to boards and corporations. Even during the Cabinet expansion, he forced the JD(S) to forgo one berth in favour of an independent candidate.
Disturbed by these development, Mr Gowda had started preparing for mid-term polls and is also planning a padayatra in the state.
Considering his age and the fact that Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is not in the pink of health, the strategy was to re-launch Nikhil Kumaraswamy, who lost the Lok Sabha elections from Mandya. The idea was that the padayatra would bring him nearer to the people so that Nikhil could play a lead role in the next Assembly elections.
The JD(S) knows that the onus of saving the coalition government is now on the Congress and not on it. Sources said the JD(S) is also keenly waiting for the BJP state unit's next move, before making its strategy public.