Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy, who lost the Lok Sabha elections from Mandya, has told Janata Dal (Secular) workers to prepare for Assembly elections that may be “announced anytime”.
He was heard making the remarks in a video that has gone viral on social media. The video was first shared by party worker Sunil Gowda Dandiganahalli on Wednesday.
“We need to start [preparing] now only,” Nikhil Kumaraswamy is heard saying in the video. “We should not say we will do it later. We have to prepare from the next month onwards.”
However, Nikhil Kumaraswamy told the Janata Dal (Secular) workers that the party’s coalition government with the Congress will complete its term. “There is no threat to the government,” he said. “It will complete [its tenure]. You get tensed due to reports in media. It is not like that. We know what is there inside [the government]. Kumaranna [HD Kumaraswamy] will run the government for the next four years too.”
The Gowda scion’s statement came a day after AH Vishwanath, the Karnataka unit president of the Janata Dal (Secular), resigned from his post. He was reportedly unhappy about not being consulted about candidates for the urban local body elections.
The Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government has been vulnerable since it was formed in May 2018, and speculation of its collapse have surfaced every now and then. Last month, days after the Lok Sabha election results were declared, former Congress MLA KN Rajanna claimed that the coalition government would collapse by June 10.
Senior leaders of the state Congress unit and the Janata Dal (Secular) met in Bengaluru on May 29 amid reports of rift between the allies. There was also speculation about a Cabinet reshuffle to save the coalition government.
The BJP has 105 MLAs in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly while the coalition has 116 MLAs and the support of two Independents and a Bahujan Samaj Party MLA. In the Lok Sabha elections, the saffron party won 25 of the 28 seats in the state.