After facing severe criticism for failing to stop farmer suicides in the state, the Congress-JDS coalition government in Karnataka seems to be heading south as Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has complained to his party that he is functioning not as a CM but as a clerk due to Congress interference, reported News18.
According to the reports, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy while addressing JDS MLAs and MLCs meeting became emotional and said to the party colleagues that he was functioning like a clerk and not like a chief minister because of Congress’ interference in the functioning of the government. Kumaraswamy was also reportedly heard complaining that he is working under “tremendous pressure”.
“He is sad. He almost cried. Told us that the Congress was behaving like a big brother. Forcing him to sign all kinds of orders. They forced him to expand the Cabinet and even appointed chairpersons to government-run boards and corporations without his approval. He feels that it is getting tougher with each passing day,” an MLA present in the meeting was quoted as saying.
The rift between Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) has been widening recently as both parties have tried to outdo each other to grapple as much as power in the coalition government. The recent cabinet expansion has further widened the rift, with leaders from both the parties are openly conspiring against each other.
However, JDS supremo and former Prime Minister HD Devegowda seem to be tolerating the Congress assertion as a compromise for a better seat share in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The opportunistic alliance of Congress-JDS are planning to contest as a coalition against the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections and most of the senior leaders of the JDS including HD Revanna has been reportedly advised not to comment against the Congress party.
The JDS has been demanding 12 seats out of the 28 seats in the state, while Congress is reportedly not willing to give that many numbers of seats to its coalition partner, as JDS is still considered to be their principal rival in most of the seats of old Mysore region. The Congress leadership thinks that offering 12 seats would weaken their own organisational structure in many influential regions.
The JDS may strike a deal with the Congress as a compromise and contest 6 to 8 seats as a part of the coalition leaving the rest to the Congress party. The JDS is expecting to contest more seats from Old Mysore region, where it anticipates to perform well. It is reportedly eyeing Hassan, Mandya, Mysuru, Tumakuru, Kolar, Chickballapur, Bengaluru North, Chitradurga, Shivamogga, Raichur, Vijayapura and Bidar.
This is not the first time Chief Minister Kumaraswamy has lamented over his discomfort to work with the Congress party. Earlier in July, expressing his unhappiness over the coalition government Kumaraswamy had cried saying he was unhappy and swallowing the poison of a coalition government.