BENGALURU: First, it was ‘Siddu for CM’, and now it's ‘Kharge for CM’! Both jibes point to a widening schism between coalition partners, ominous signs of a countdown to the imminent parting of ways of Congress and Janata Dal (S), post ann-ouncement of results of Lok Sabha elections on May 23.
There’s no love lost between CLP leader Sidda ramaiah and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy from the day the coalition took shape in an effort to thwart the BJP from forming the government in May 2018 though the party emerged as the single largest entity, winning 104 of the 224 Assembly constituencies.
The latest phase of discord—mirror a new low in the relationship between these two leaders and its impact on the coalition. Mr Siddaramaiah may have deliberately dragged Mr Kumaraswamy’s elder sibling and public works minister H D Revanna into the picture, to embarrass the Chief Minister, saying though Mr Kharge deserved to make it to a more important post than that of the Chief Minister, several others in Congress and JD (S), including Mr Revanna are capable of occupying the top post at an opportune time.
Though Mr Kumaraswamy responded through some more tweets that he would not stoop low to reap political gains by heaping encomiums on Mr Kharge, such exchange of tweets are a tip of the iceberg of worsening relations between these leaders as well as their supporters in both parties.
With unconfirmed rumours gaining ground that the Congress may, in turn, try to poach BJP legislators to help the Congress form its own government, is a change of guard on the cards?
Interestingly, Mr Revanna told the media that he was overwhelmed by the love and affection of Mr Siddaramaiah.
He, however, ruled out joining the race for the Chief Minister’s post on grounds that his younger brother Mr Kumaraswamy would continue to hold the position for four more years.
Sources in JD(S) have told Deccan Chronicle that the CM deliberately brought up Mr Kharge in a bid to create confusion within the Congress at a time when some legislators were demanding that Mr Siddaramaiah be given another opportunity as Chief Minister.
Mr Kharge, however, dismissed the Chief Minister's statement as mere rhetoric and said this issue of a Dalit holding the top post, crops up only during polls and always fizzles out thereafter....