Bengaluru: Certain disgruntled Congress MLAs, whom JD (S) state unit president H.D. Kumaraswamy had reportedly tried to win over, said their commitment to the party was non-negotiable ahead of Rajya Sabha polls.
On Wednesday, sources in JD (S) told the media that their party leaders were in touch with at least 10 Congress MLAs including Malikayya Guttedar, Dr A.B. Maalak Reddy and K.B. Koliwad in a bid to drum up support for the party’s candidate in RS polls, B.M. Farookh.
When Deccan Chronicle contacted some of these legislators, they denied being contacted by any JD (S) leaders. Both Mr Koliwad and Mr Guttedar said: “None from JD (S) contacted us, and even if they do, it will not make any difference.”
They, however, expressed their displeasure over being for sidelined. “We are upset with the Chief Minister, no doubt. But, our commitment to the party is non-negotiable. In fact, I am more committed to the party than Chief Minister Siddaramaiah,” remarked Mr Koliwad.
Mr Guttedar rued the fact that the party did not even consult MLAs about RS elections. "I am very upset. But, I will not go against the party diktat. Why should I get into a controversy because I have two more years," he said.
One more MLA, who declined to speak on record, told Deccan Chronicle that he was being monitored by partymen constantly. “I do not mind because I do not want to go against the Congress party. These people (Chief Minister and other leaders) are wasting their time monitoring me,” he added.
Meanwhile, energy minister, D.K. Shivakumar, one of the strategists of Congress for Rajya Sabha elections dubbed claims by JD (S) leaders of contacting 10 Congress MLAs as false. Taking a swipe at his rival, H.D. Kumaraswamy, Mr Shivakumar said: “It is a typical of Mr Kumaraswamy to make such claims. You mark my words. No one will go to JD (S) and support their candidate. Even if Mr Kumaraswamy speaks to our party MLAs, do you think they will go with him? They are not so stupid to risk the remaining two years of their tenure as legislator,” he added.
Mr Shivakumar declined to divulge details about the party’s strategy to ensure the victory of the party’s third candidate and former IPS officer K C Ramamurthy. Praising Mr Siddaramaiah, Mr Shivakumar said he was an ordinary worker and would do whatever the party had asked him to. He maintained that Mr Siddaramaiah,
KPCC president Dr Parameshwar and himself would work on strategies to ensure the victory of the three candidates the party has put up, said the minister....