Cong-JD(S) Face More Trouble As Internal Power Struggle Drags on
Even as Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy was releasing a book outlining the achievements of his government in the past one year, trouble was brewing within the coalition. Apart from the constant threat from senior BJP leaders, whom Kumaraswamy accused of trying to poach coalition MLAs, internal power struggle within both parties kept the leaders on their toes on Thursday, 20 June.
Thursday was day of press conferences, apart from Chief Minister Kumaraswamy’s press conference on the government’s achievements, press conferences were called by disgruntled JD(S) state president AH Vishwanath and the party supremo HD Deve Gowda.
This also comes a day after more than 250 officer bearers of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee were fired from their posts in a major revamp.
Dissolution of KPCC
Just a day before Chief Minister Kumaraswamy’s address to the media, in a surprise move, KPCC fired over 250 officer bearers. Only party president Dinesh Gunduro and working president Eshwar Kandhre retained their posts.
Before Dinesh Gundurao took over as the chief of KPCC, the post was held by G Parameshwara, who is currently the deputy chief minister. During this seven-year-long tenure most of the office bearers in the party were appointed by him. The reshuffle is part of an attempt to replace those from the Parameshwara camp in Congress with the workers close to Siddaramaiah, said sources.
Siddaramaiah’s Alleged Statement
A report in The Times of India which claimed the former chief minister Siddaramaiah, along with senior Congress leader HK Patil, visited AICC president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi and tried to convince him to pull out of the JD(S)-Congress alliance in Karnataka, stirred a fresh controversy in the state.
Quoting sources, the report said Siddaramaiah told Rahul Gandhi that the party would have won more seats in the parliamentary elections if they had contested on their own, and the sooner they get out of the alliance, the better it would be for the party’s future.
While Siddaramaiah’s office issued a statement denying the report, ahead of the CM’s press conference, the report was a topic of discussion among the legislators. Party insiders also claimed that the demand for pulling out of the alliance is growing strong within the party, even though coalition partners have been claiming the alliance will hold the reins for five years.
Trouble Within JD(S)
Trouble was not restricted to the Congress camp alone. On Thursday morning, JD(S) state president AH Vishwanath, who had submitted his resignation as the party chief, addressed the media and asked the party to accept his resignation at the earliest.
On 4 June, when he submitted his resignation, the official reason given was the JD(S)’ failure in the general elections. Sources, however had said he was disgruntled over his party denying him a cabinet berth. With the JD(S) offering one of its vacant cabinet positions to an independent candidate, he came out strongly against the party.
During his press conference he issued an ultimatum that if his resignation as the party chief is not accepted, he would resign as the MLA.
While both coalition partners are fighting fire, JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda also called for a press conference and claimed that the coalition is not under any trouble. He told mediapersons that he had apprised Rahul Gandhi of the same and asked workers of both parties from making unwanted public comments.
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