Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday threatened to resign if the Congress did not rein in its MLAs. Kumaraswamy, responding to a question about a Congress MLA who referred to Siddaramaiah as the state leader, told ANI: “If they want to continue with the same thing, I am ready to step down. They are crossing the line.”
State minister Puttaranga Shetty had on Sunday referred to Siddaramaiah as still being “our chief minister”, during an event in which the former chief minister inaugurated a Kanaka Bhavan in Bengaluru, The New Indian Express reported.
Another Congress leader, ST Somashekhar, criticised the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) government, claiming it had neglected Bengaluru. “It has been seven months since the coalition government came into power but roads in Bengaluru have not been developed,” Somashekhar, the new Bangalore Development Authority chairperson, alleged.
At the event, Siddaramaiah had claimed that leaders from his own party sabotaged his election campaign in Badami and Chamundeshwari. “They defeated me out of jealousy and through false propaganda,” Siddaramaiah, who lost the Chamundeshwari seat, said.
Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, a Congress leader, backed his colleagues. “Siddaramaiah has been the best chief minister,” Parameshwara told ANI. “He is our Congress Legislature Party leader. For the MLA [Shetty] he is the chief minister. He has expressed his opinion. What’s wrong in that?”
However, Parameshwara added that the Congress MLAs are happy with Kumaraswamy being the chief minister.
The Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) had formed a coalition government in Karnataka after the elections in May. The Bharatiya Janata Party had emerged the largest single party, with 104 of 224 seats, but was short of a majority. There has been constant speculation and reports of infighting in the coalition in recent months though.