Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has offered his first response to the divide that has been created in the Congress-JD(S) alliance owing to MLAs from his party undermining current CM Kumaraswamy. After Kumaraswamy said he was willing to quit from the CM's post unless the Congress reined in its MLAs who have called Siddaramiah the super-CM.
After being questioned by the reporters over the controversy, Siddaramaiah said, "Talk to him (Kumaraswamy) about it, not me"
Amid the chaos in the coalition, a few weeks prior to the Parliamentary elections, sources have informed Republic that the Rahul Gandhi-led party's high command has sought a report from the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) and further maintained that if the explanation does not seem satisfactory, they will be taking action against the MLA.
In an imperative bid to save their alliance in Karnataka, PCC told that the statement that could jeopardize alliance will not be tolerated, according to sources.
The row began after a Congress MLA professed that their party leader Siddaramaiah is their 'super-chief minister' in Karnataka, to which the real chief minister, HD Kumaraswamy, has tersely warned his ally against 'crossing the line' and threatened that he would step down from his post if need be.
Speaking to reporters after Congress MLAs once again sought to undermine the JD(S) leader, Kumaraswamy burst out, telling the Congress leadership to 'control their MLAs', warning that this will affect the alliance.
He said, "Congress has to watch their issues. You ask Congress leaders. I am not concerned about those things - if they want to continue with this then I will step down."
"They are crossing a line and it will affect Congress leaders. They must control their MLAs," the Karnataka CM added.
On December 24, HD Kumaraswamy expressed discontent in running the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state. While addressing a public gathering in Bengaluru on Sunday, HD Kumaraswamy compared Karnataka's coalition government to walking on a tightrope, calling it a 'difficult' task to do:
"Running this coalition government is like walking on a tightrope. It's not easy. I cannot force people or try to influence others to match my wavelength. They have their own agendas. But my agenda is nothing personal. I want to develop the state using the power that God has granted me," Kumaraswamy said while addressing the event.
The Congress and JD(S) will be contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka together, something that was reiterated by Siddaramaiah in December last year. At that time, the seat-sharing formula had not yet been decided.