Hubballi: Are Ahinda leaders led by former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah responsible for the renewed speculation on a threat from the BJP to the coalition government in the state?
Sources close to the Jarkiholi brothers in Belagavi claim the Ahinda team is trying to kill two birds with a stone - deliberately create a climate of uncertainty to rein in Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and his father, H.D. Deve Gowda and also bring disrepute to the BJP with the parliamentary polls fast approaching, by accusing it of luring ruling party legislators to bring down the government.
Congress MLA, Ganesh Hukkeri's threat to quit the party to join the BJP and his later retraction is also a part of this strategy, they maintain. The other theory is Mr Siddaramaiah is himself trying to become Chief Minister again by engineering mid-term elections in the state after the Lok Sabha polls. An audio tape of the coordination committee chairman asserting he would allow the government to run till the parliamentary poll had gone viral not so long ago.
"Siddaramaiah is trying to revive Ahinda and become Chief Minister again with the help of his loyalists. He has been touring North Karnataka for this very reason. The Jarkiholi brothers have been in touch with him and so have all Ahinda leaders from the region," claims an associate of Forest Minister, Satish Jarkiholi.
But speaking to reporters in Belagavi on Monday, Mr Satish Jarkiholi denied there were any disgruntled legislators in the Belagavi Congress unit and asserted that Operation Lotus would not succeed. Accusing the BJP of suffering from illusions over bringing down the government after Makara Sankranti , he said it was stable.
Constantly bombarded by rumours of Congress leaders trying to pull the plug on his government, Mr Kumaraswamy has in the past lamented his helplessness in providing effective governance due to their "torture." JD(S) leaders like Basavaraj Horatti too have publicly criticised the Congress for not keeping its promise of providing unconditional support to their party in the coalition government.