Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, Siddaramaiah on Friday, 23 August, blamed former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and his son HD Kumaraswamy for toppling the coalition government.
“I am not someone who will stoop to the level of toppling a government in which my party was a member. That kind of politics is the birth right of Deve Gowda and his sons (Kumaraswamy and HD Revanna). Deve Gowda is an expert in toppling governments.”Siddaramaiah
The statement was in response to Deve Gowda’s recent outburst that Siddaramaiah could not stand to see Kumaraswamy as the chief minister and thereby plotted the downfall of the coalition government.
Siddaramaiah also accused Kumaraswamy and Deve Gowda of allowing the BJP to grow in Karnataka. He also accused the father-son duo of creating unrest among MLAs by not catering to developmental works and thereby forcing them to rebel.
“They (Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy) are responsible for the BJP’s growth in Karnataka. It would not have happened if they hadn’t withdrawn support to the Dharam Singh government and joined hands with the BJP.”Siddaramaiah
“If the JD(S) hadn’t broken their promise, Yediyurappa would’ve been CM for 20 months (in 2006). Instead, the BJP won 110 seats in the next election because of Gowda and Kumaraswamy. The MLAs are saying this, not me. If all MLAs had been taken into confidence and their constituency works taken care of, none would’ve been disgruntled,” he added.
Siddaramaiah was referring to the time when the JD(S) and BJP formed a coalition in 2006 and came to power.
Though the understanding was that Kumaraswamy would be chief minister for 20 months and then Yediyurappa for the next 20 months. However, Kumaraswamy refused to handover the baton to Yediyurappa, forcing the BJP to withdraw support, leading to the government's fall.
‘For 14 Months, I Gave Complete Support’
Siddaramaiah fiercely defended himself against allegations that he was against Kumaraswamy as the CM. Siddaramaiah claimed that he had respected the high command’s decision and had not interfered in the workings of the coalition government for 14 months.
“Deve Gowda said I couldn’t digest Kumaraswamy becoming the CM. Our high command decided that the Congress, with 80 MLAs, would extend support to the JD(S) that has 37 MLAs. I agreed because I too did not want the BJP to come to power. For 14 months, I gave complete support,” he said.
Siddaramaiah also accused Deve Gowda of not nurturing and allowing anyone other than members of his family to grow in the party.
The former chief minister said that Deve Gowda and his grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy lost the Lok Sabha polls as the electorate too was aware of the family’s “thirst for power”.
Siddaramaiah also said that he had advised the high command to not form a pre-poll alliance with the JD(S) as the party workers were campaigning against the Congress. Siddaramaiah was responding to Deve Gowda’s allegations that he lost in Tumakuru and his grandson in Mandya as Siddaramaiah had instructed Congress party workers to campaign for Sumalatha, the independent candidate.
“It’s true I told our high command that we shouldn’t have an alliance with the JD(S) for the Lok Sabha polls, but the alliance was made. If I’m being accused of Nikhil’s defeat, who is responsible for Congress candidates losing in Chamarajanagar, Mysuru, Kolar and Chikkaballapura? Deve Gowda and Nikhil lost because people were fed up with family politics and their thirst for power. That’s the truth,” Siddaramaiah said.
(This article was first published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)