Congress worried as clash of egos continues in Karnataka

Congress leaders are worried about the continued clash of egos among senior leaders of the coalition — ignoring the compulsion of coalition politics — which is causing considerable harm to the credibility of the H.D. Kumaraswamy government.

A senior Congress leader described the squabble between former Chief Minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and State Janata Dal (Secular) president A.H. Vishwanath as “political sledging” ahead of May 23 Lok Sabha election results.

Noting that personal rivalry and ego clashes had caused the downfall of the first Congress-JD(S) coalition government in 2006, another senior Congress leader said leaders have to rise above their differences and personal rivalries to keep the BJP out of the seat of power. He pointed out that former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda and Mr. Siddaramaiah had risen above personal differences in matters such as the Cauvery water dispute.

The relationship between Mr. Kumaraswamy and Congress legislators has become strained after a group of MLAs openly backed Mr. Siddaramaiah to return to the post of Chief Minister. To this, Mr. Vishwanath reacted sharply, leading to a war of words between him and his former Congress colleague. Earlier, Higher Education Minister G.T. Deve Gowda had said that the alliance between the parties had not translated into votes for the Congress candidate in Mysuru. This did not go down well with Congress leaders.

There is a long history of personal and political rivalry between Mr. Vishwanath and and Mr. Siddaramaiah, who belong to the same community and region. The latter is said to have “ignored” the former when he was Chief Minister. Mr. Vishwanath’s comments on Sunday that the administration under Mr. Siddaramaiah was “nothing special” seems to have further widened the rift between them.

Closing ranks

Interestingly, after these remarks, Congress leaders appear to be closing ranks in the first sign of unity before the announcement of poll results. Surprisingly, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara too has come to the defence of Mr. Siddaramaiah.

Leaders, however, said the continuation of Congress support to the JD (S) depends on the number of seats the party wins in the elections, both in the State as well as across the country.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 1:00:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/congress-worried-as-clash-of-egos-continues-in-karnataka/article27131001.ece

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