The Congress-JD(S) coalition is perhaps seeing its worst conflict ever as the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are getting closer.
In the most ironic twist in the tale of Indian politics, the Congress is aggrieved with its coalition partner over 'dynasty politics' and has said that 'families cannot run the state'.
The two parties which have been getting in and out of fights since the last couple of months, are this time fighting over Lok Sabha seats.
The friction between the two parties surfaced over three constituencies - Tumkur, Mandya and Haasan, all of which are being fought by JD(S) supremo Devegowda and his family members. Congress party workers have been in disagreement over the seats being alloted to JD(S) and has alleged dynasty politics being played by them.
The friction turned into a huge rift on Monday when Congress's Muddahanumegowda toed the party line and filed his nominations from Tumkur where HD Devegowda is also set to file his nomination. The seat as per the agreement between both the parties was given to JD(S). He was joined by a large number of Congress workers despite the seat being promised to Devegowda.
After filing his nomination, Muddahanumegowda said, "I have filed my nomination from the Congress and no one in the party has objected to it. I request with folded hands to my leaders to reconsider their decision and enable to win the elections."
Congress leader and Deputy CM of the state G Parameshwara spoke on the issue and said his party supports Devegowda, "We didn’t expect, but high command wanted to fight with JD(S). Tumkur was never supposed to be given to JD(S). I personally asked Gowda to fight from some other constituency. But now that he decided to fight from the Tumkur seat thus we have to support that. We need to see that he wins there."
JD(S) returned the Bengaluru North constituency to Congress party. Earlier this seat was one among the eight parliamentary seats allotted to it in Karnataka. JD(S) party has said that they couldn't find a candidate from their party for Bengaluru North and that's the reason behind them giving up the seat.
Another flashpoint is over Mandya seat.
Congress MLA and Siddaramaiah aide Dr K Sudhakar decried dynasty politics in the JD(S) over the Mandya seat.
"In Karnataka too, you can't expect six-seven family members at the helm of affairs. It's like dividing the state amongst your family members. One family forcing their members, during elections, just because you have money, muscle power, on the cadre though they are not welcome," he said.
He also spoke about the Mandya seat being to Devegowda's grandson and actor Nikhil. But Congress workers supported the independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh in Mandya.
"It was a huge shock to me that a wildcard entry was given to Nikhil who has done two films. Sumalata is from Mandya and people there are emotional and bonded and Ambaresh had his own following as an actor and the family had its own respect that it commanded. He passed away, but his wife earns that respect and love, there is obvious concern and love for her" he said.
Hassan seat in Karnataka
The other seat in Karnataka which has angered Congress workers is the seat of Hassanas it will be contested by JD(S) patriarch Devegowda's grandson Prajwal Revanna.
Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah reacted to the entire episode of Congress discontent.
He spoke about the Congress infighting and called those who are opposing his party's candidatures as 'backstabbers'.
"Some Congress leaders are attempting to impede the progress of my party candidates. I will not do the same with other party candidates. For me this state is important and it's development is paramount. No matter who backstabs our party candidates we remain firm in our stand to support Congress candidates in the 20 seats allotted to them. Our party workers won't disturb them," he said.