Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy blamed internal bickering in the Congress for the coalition government’s collapse, the Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday. He claimed that “invisible forces” had worked to stop the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition from surviving.
Kumaraswamy said he had expected his government to collapse. “The BJP tried to destabilise it [the government],” Kumaraswamy said. “There was internal bickering in the Congress that added fuel. They [Bharatiya Janata Party] tried to bring down this government in February so that we don’t present the Budget.”
The coalition lost power in the Assembly last week after losing a trust vote 99-105. The floor test was necessitated by the mass resignations of MLAs, who also abstained from voting in the floor test. Then Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar then disqualified 17 MLAs from the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular). The Congress on Tuesday expelled 14 rebel MLAs from its ranks. After the coalition lost its majority, BS Yediyurappa took oath as the chief minister of a BJP government last week, and proved its majority on Monday.
Kumaraswamy said he had expected the three rebel Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs to leave the coalition. “The government wouldn’t have fallen even after all the recent developments,” Kumaraswamy said. “It really wasn’t hard to save the government, even after all the rebels left. However, there were many invisible hands that worked to ensure it didn’t survive.”
He claimed that while some MLAs had assured him they would return, these “invisible hands” prevented them from doing so. However, Kumaraswamy refused to name the persons he was accusing of involvement.
Kumaraswamy also said he did not know about the problems that the rebels were facing. “None of them spoke to me personally,” he said. “I informed the House about the amount of money I granted each of the rebels to develop their constituencies. Anyway, their party leaders should talk about their allegations. Those who claim they weren’t helped by the government are lying.”
Kumaraswamy dismissed Yediyurappa’s claim that he would not play vindictive politics after becoming chief minister. “Even before taking oath of office… he called the chief secretary and asked him to stop new projects and transfers sanctioned in July,” the former chief minister said. “That is his character. He said ‘forgive and forget’ but on Monday I found out that he has ordered an inquiry into some decisions I have taken.”
However, the Janata Dal (Secular) leader refused to criticise Governor Vajubhai Vala. “No, I won’t speak ill of the governor, he had pressure from a lot of invisible forces,” Kumaraswamy said. “He works under the central government.”
He asserted that he did not think the BJP’s central leadership was involved in the resignations of the MLAs. He also exonerated Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, saying things had been out of his control too. “Even now Congress and JD(S) MLAs are being enticed to defect, despite the BJP forming the government,” Kumaraswamy said.
The former chief minister rejected the possibility of the Janata Dal (Secular) forming an alliance with the BJP. However, he claimed that the Yediyurappa government is very unstable right now and could collapse at any time.