Former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda took a swipe at ally and Congress leader Siddaramaiah over his party candidate defeating the former Karnataka CM in Chamundeshwari in the 2018 assembly polls.
JD(S) and Congress were rivals in Karnataka before they joined hands following the assembly elections in May 2018.
Deve Gowda said that it was the people who defeated Siddaramaiah and not their party MLA GT Deve Gowda in the 2018 assembly polls in Karnataka. The seat of Chamundeshwari has been a flashpoint between Siddaramaiah and the JD(S).
"This is a litmus test to me. Siddaramaiah was defeated in Mysuru, I understand his pain. I didn't go to campaign at that time. They say that GT Deve Gowda is responsible for his defeat but that's not true, it's the people's choice. I will not hold anyone responsible for this," he said.
After losing the seat a bitter Congress leader had said that certain forces had ganged up against him and compared them to Rahu and Ketu.
The coalition between JD(S) and Congress hasn't particularly been smooth sailing. After deciding to jointly contest the Lok Sabha polls, the several Congress members showed open disapproval of seat allotment to Deve Gowda's family members in Mandya and Hassan. Siddaramaiah has not campaigned in Mandya and Mysuru.
The split within the Congress prevailed over the Mandya seat which has been given to JD(S) leader and Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil, said sources.
Several senior Congress party workers wanted to support independent candidate Sumalatha who is the wife of late Congress leader Ambareesh, the sources said.
A panicky Congress took action to ensure that leaders toe its party line.
As per sources, strict instructions have been issued to the party members by the Congress high command to support Nikhil and not Sumalatha. They also said that Congress leaders who have disapproved Nikhil contesting the seat are worried that if he loses the seat, JD(S) might bring down the state government post the elections.