A ‘Re-energised’ Siddaramaiah Builds Up Suspense on Stability of Kumaraswamy Govt

Bengaluru: Minutes after his aircraft landed in Bengaluru on Thursday night, former chief minister Siddaramaiah tweeted that after 15 days of Ayurveda treatment and body detoxification his body and mind are re-energised to get back into politics. Though it sounds like a routine, innocuous tweet, Siddaramaiah has sent a subtle message to both his own party Congress and the coalition partner JDS that he should not be ignored and he will play a bigger role in the coming days. And it is a politically loaded tweet.
After reluctantly installing the JDS-Congress government in the state, Siddaramaiah who is also the leader of Congress Legislative Party (CLP) and chairman of JDS-Congress coordination committee had left for a naturopathy centre at Ujire near Mangalore. Even though he had “barricaded” himself from the outside world for two weeks, his followers met him there and their “private” conversation was leaked to the media by some mysterious characters. Siddaramaiah, who is miffed with the Congress high command for directly dealing with the JDS ignoring him, has made his discomfort public through these leaked videos and audios. A worried Congress tried to downplay these and chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, who shares an uneasy relationship with Siddaramaiah, has reportedly complained to Congress president Rahul Gandhi asking him to rein in the former chief minister.
A Siddaramaiah loyalist and Congress MLA Narayanarao has warned the party that the shaky coalition government will not survive if the party ignores Siddaramaiah. Another loyalist MLA Dr Sudhakar has also made a statement asking the Congress and JDS not to offend Siddaramaiah.
On Wednesday, in his first interview since he came to power with News18, Kumaraswamy had tried to downplay Siddaramaiah factor saying that all is well and the government will last full term. A day earlier Siddaramaiah had told his followers that it may not survive after the Lok Sabha elections.
H D Deve Gowda, the JDS supremo and one time guru of Siddaramaiah who had maintained a radio silence over the goings on in Bengaluru broke his silence on Thursday. Addressing a press meet in New Delhi, the former Prime Minister said that the issues were minor and the coalition would survive. Siddaramaiah’s issues with the Gowdas are entirely personal and the Congress is not endorsing them. Most Congress leaders in Karnataka feel that his hatredness for the Gowda clan should not lead to the collapse of coalition government.