‘Congress leaders crossing the alliance line’: Kumaraswamy threatens to step down as Karnataka CM

Bengaluru: Congress-JD(S) alliance infight Karnataka seems to be escalating as Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday threatened to step down if Congress MLAs continue to attack him.

Kumaraswamy was responding to questions about Congress MLAs saying that Siddaramaiah is their CM. “If they want to continue with the same thing, I am ready to step down. They are crossing the line,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.

“Congress leaders have to watch out for all these issues. Congress leaders must think about all these things and control them… They are crossing the alliance’s line. This is not going to affect me but Congress leaders only,” the Chief Minister said.

Kumaraswamy may be even less happy at the words of his own deputy, G Parameswara of the Congress.

“Siddaramaiah has been the best Chief Minister. He is our Congress Legislature Party leader. For the MLAs, he (Siddaramaiah) is the chief minister. He has expressed his opinion. What is wrong in that? We are all happy with him (Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy),” Parameswara said.

Siddaramaiah, a former chief minister who now heads a coalition committee, is believed to be at odds with leaders within his Congress party.

“You (media) are the people who create trouble. You ask one person, then second person and then third person. There is no trouble, I will speak to HD Kumaraswamy,” Siddaramaiah told reporters.

Referring to the party lawmaker who made the “Siddaramaiah is chief minister” remark, state Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao said, “What Somashekar said is not acceptable. He will have to explain or face action.”

The Chief Minister’s outburst follows days of turmoil within the ruling Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress alliance over the fear of lawmakers crossing over to the BJP and the coalition collapsing.

In an attempt to stanch rebellion, the Congress checked its lawmakers into a resort near Bengaluru. The ruling coalition accused the BJP of attempting a coup by luring Congress lawmakers.

The BJP insisted that the coalition was trying to mask its own instability and insecurity by accusing it. The party’s BS Yeddyurappa, also a former chief minister, sequestered all BJP lawmakers at a resort near Delhi.

“Siddaramaiah and his supporters in the party are training guns at HD Kumaraswamy. There is intense war going on between Siddaramaiah and Kumaraswamy. To hide this from public glare, they are indulging in some drama of MLAs being wooed by BJP. The fact is this coalition is internally unstable,” said the BJP’s GVL Narasimha Rao.