It's been hardly few months since the Congress and JD(S) allied and formed a government in Karnataka. But barely six months into the alliance Congress and JD(S) have already started showing signs of discontent although they patch up every now and then.
JD(S) state president H Vishwanath, in particular, has been openly critical about many aspects that matter to the coalition. Vishwanath's recent take on national party's has kicked up a storm as it indirectly opposes the Congress party.
On Monday speaking to media persons H Vishwanath said, " Nationalist party's have not been able to take swift decisions. Regional party's have the strength to discuss with the people in the state and solve their problems. We wanted to further reduce the price of petrol by 2 rupees. We wrote to PM Modi seeking his assistance. But he didn't assist us. The need of regional party's has increased in the state. Those states which are ruled by the regional party's have better scope for development. Nationalist party's are dependant on their high command, whereas we have the power to take swift decisions because our leaders are all in the same state."
The reasons for this is one basically because JD(S) is a regional party and its roots are embedded in the state. The JD(S)' coalition partner Congress on the other hand still obliges to 10 Janpath. The Congress party in Karnataka has adapted itself to the state to better its electoral fortunes but its structural framework remains the same.
The JD(S) president's statement has highlighted that although both the party's are in power in the state their goals are different. While JD(S) looks to utilise the power and expand its presence in the state, the Congress is battling for survival.
The BJP said Vishwanath's statement has opened a can of worms.
BJP spokeswoman Malavika Avinash reacted to Vishwanath's statement, "This coming from a politician who himself is recent turncoat smacks both of hypocrisy and confusion. This is the same disgruntled gentleman who exited the Congress to fight against it and is now compelled into a coalition of convenience with the same Congress party. "
The national versus regional debate is however not new to the coalition partners. Recently, Vishwanath had demanded his induction into the coordination committee headed by Siddaramiah but that proposal has not been considered just yet.
Congress and JD(S) went to polls and contested against each other in the recently concluded urban local body polls. JD(S) spokesperson Tanveer Ahmed denied differences between Congress and JD(S), " The way our constitution is framed, it gives more importance for states. Regional party's are important for the development of the state. National party's sometimes are busy looking at national issues they sometimes tend to forget regional issues. It is not to mock national party's or Congress. Mr. Vishwanath would not have meant it that way."
With Lok Sabha polls approaching the JD(S) is keeping its fingers crossed as it aims to play a bigger role in national politics. Quiet opposed to this the Congress will strive to revive itself in the state and across the nation. It will be interesting to look out for the future plans of both the party's in the coming months as they cross paths.