Bengaluru: Perturbed over the beating the image of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government is taking because of the utterances of dissident Congress MLAs, JD (S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda on Thursday held a press conference to send a subtle message to Congress leaders that he had spoken to Congress President Rahul Gandhi about how hurt he felt when leaders speak against the government in public.
Mr Gowda who seemed quite defensive while speaking about the current political climate in Karnataka, said: “I did not discuss anything else with Mr Gandhi. I only told him that it would augur well for the coalition government if legislators do not speak against the government publicly.”
Asked about the adverse comments of Congress legislators on his party, the JD(S), Mr Gowda reiterated that it was the Congress which approached him last year after the Assembly polls and pleaded for forming a coalition government with his son, H.D. Kumaraswamy as chief minister. Asked about senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah’s reported remarks after meeting Mr Gandhi on Wednesday that the coalition is not working well and the party would have performed better if it had contested the elections alone without a tieup with the JD9S), Mr Gowda said, “I don't want to react now; there is ample time.” On some leaders expressing the view that the alliance was hurting both parties, the JD(S) chief said the coalition was not his party's idea but of Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. “I told them we didn’t want this (coalition government), but Dr Parameshwar and K.H. Muniyappa approached us. (Mallikarjun) Kharge told me that he had been ordered to ensure that this happens,” the former Prime Minister said.
When his attention was drawn to state JD(S) president A.H. Vishwanath’s decision to resign from the state unit president's post, Mr Gowda said that he had convened a meeting of OBC leaders on Friday when an attempt would be made to try and convince Mr Vishwanath to withdraw his resignation.
The JD(S) chief also said that a meeting of defeated candidates of the party has been convened on Friday. “We have decided to strengthen the JD(S) from the grassroots and I have taken up this responsibility. We will also identify potential candidates (for future polls),” he said.