Troubles mounted for the ruling combine in Karnataka with Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah asked party chief Rahul Gandhi to reconsider their partnership with the JD-S in the southern state. Siddaramaiah's proposal to rethink the Congress-JDS alliance came at a meeting on Wednesday as the former chief minister is of the opinion that the coalition has only benefited the JD-S, causing great harm to the grand old party in the last one year.
"Siddaramaiah feels the current coalition with the JD(S) has benefited its supremo Deve Gowda and Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy more than the Congress," sources close to the development told Deccan Chronicle.
Apart from Siddaramaiah, there are several other leaders in the Congress who contend that the pre-poll alliance with the JD-S in the Lok Sabha polls cost the party at least five to six seats with heavyweights like Mallikarjun Kharge, KH Muniyappa and M Veerappa Moily biting the dust, the report stated, adding that the traditional votes of the Congress were also transferred to BJP candidates because of the aversion to the JD-S.
Sources alleged that the Congress lost Kodagu-Mysuru, Kalaburagi, Chikballapur and Kolar as local JD-S leaders did not work for Congress candidates. While leaders were united at the state level, there were huge mismanagement at the grass root level. Scarcity of funds and lack of efforts by JD-S leaders also led to a delay in the developmental activity in Bengaluru, giving the BJP a big issue to politicise in this Lok Sabha elections.
"The Congress should have thought about the dangers involved in going with the JD(S) before finalising the deal with the latter," sources was quoted as saying, while defending Siddaramaiah's line of thinking.
The JD-S and the Congress forged an alliance after the elections held last year to the 224-member Assembly threw up a fractured verdict for the state. Though the BJP won 104 seats, becoming the single largest party in Karnataka, it was nine seats short of majority. Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi, went by the advice of other Congress leaders, decided to join hands with the JD-S, preventing the BJP from storming back to power in the state.
However, Siddaramaiah has been opposing the idea of Congress-JDS alliance from the very beginning, but had to fall in line as majority was in support of the coalition. The former Karnataka chief minister had reportedly told Congress insiders that the party would have to pay a heavy price as long as it was part of a coalition with the JD-S and he was proved right in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections when the Congress tally fell from 10 to just one in Karnataka.