With dissidence in ruling coalition partner Congress surfacing again, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday took stock of the situation with his deputy G Parameshwara and senior Minister DK Shivakumar.
During the meeting, the Congress-JDS coalition leaders are said to have discussed the threat by rebel Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi to quit the party along with other legislators with him, and its implications on the government.
The meeting also came in the backdrop of the BJP predicting the fall of the coalition government after the Lok Sabha election results are declared on May 23.
Emerging out of the meeting with Chief Minister, who has taken a break after busy campaigning for about a month, Parameshwara ruled out any threat to the coalition government.
“We have discussed politics also, but we also have information that there are no such developments (threatening the government),” the Congress leader told reporters.
“we don’t have any apprehension about the collapse of the government as being claimed by the BJP,” he said.
The government is stable, he asserted, adding they held discussions with the chief minister about facing drought situation in parts of the state.
Speculation about the longevity of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in Karnataka has again come to the fore after the second and final phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state on Tuesday, with state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa predicting its collapse after the election results.
There are talks within political circles that any adverse results for the coalition in the Lok Sabha polls will have its implications on the stability of the state government.
The Congress and JDS, which stitched an alliance after contesting the assembly elections separately last year, had an understanding for the Parliamentary polls despite resentment among the grass root workers and leaders of both the parties.
Adding to this was the threat by Jarkiholi, who has been hobnobbing with the BJP for some time now and threatening he along with other MLAs would resign from Congress soon.
His public posturing has caused fear among the ruling coalition leaders as it could trigger the number game in the assembly.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao, however, expressed hope that Jarkiholi would think with “good sense” and not quit. Rao also warned of adverse consequence by believing in BJP.
“Congress has not done any injustice to him (Jarkiholi), party has always stood by him, he is five-time MLA from the party and has been a minister. He too may not have any negative opinion against the party and is giving some statements due to some reasons, this is my feeling,” he added.
Rao, however, ruled out any talks with him and said May 23 Lok Sabha poll results will put an end to everything.
Meanwhile, Kagawad MLA Shrimant Patil, considered close to Jarkiholi, met Kumaraswamy and Shivakumar on Thursday said.
Patil later said he was not resigning from Congress and had come to discuss water-related issues in his constituency.
Also, Jarkiholi’s associates Athani MLA Mahesh Kumtalli and Bellary Rural MLA B Nagendra, who are also facing disqualification petition for rebelling against the party in January by camping in Mumbai and staying away from crucial CLP meetings, have reportedly said that they are with Congress and will not be resigning.