Karnataka Congress unit chief Dinesh Gundu Rao on Monday warned party leaders from crossing the “lakshman rekha” of coalition politics after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy threatened to quit over statements by Congress leaders supporting former Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah.
Gundu Rao on Twitter also said that Congress MLA ST Somashekar had apologised to Kumaraswamy for his comments. Somashekar had earlier said that there would have been “real development” if former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had another term, reported NDTV.
Gundu Rao said Somashekar’s statements had crossed the “lakshman rekha of coalition politics” and that action would be taken. He said Somashekar had explained his statements and “expressed regret and apologised to the CM for any anguish caused”.
Gundu Rao, however, warned all Congress leaders in Karnataka to be careful with their words and not to cross the line. “Our coalition with the JDS is to take on the communal forces and unseat the anti-democratic forces ruling this country, not to indulge in petty politicking,” he said.
Gundu Rao warned that any act of indiscipline would not be tolerated and action would be initiated against erring leaders.
AICC General Secretary in charge of Karnataka, KC Venugopal, said the party high command had full faith in the state government and the chief minister after Kumaraswamy issued the threat.
State minister Puttaranga Shetty too had backed Siddaramaiah, referring to him as still being “our chief minister”. Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, a Congress leader, backed his colleagues, saying Siddaramaiah had been the best chief minister and that the Congress leaders were merely expressing their opinion.
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.