Mid-term polls imminent in Karnataka, HD Dewe Gowda says not sure how long JDS-Congress coalition will last



The crisis within the coalition government of the Congress and the JD(S) in Karnataka is now out in the open, with former Prime Minister and party veteran HD Deve Gowda raising doubts on the longevity of the ruling government in the state. Making it sufficiently clear that all is not well between the two ruling partners in the state, Deve Gowda has claimed that mid-term polls will be held in the state as the Congress was toeing a different line after supporting HD Kumaraswamy for one year. He said that the Congress had promised to support the JD(S) for five years but it now seems the party has lost is strength. They (Congress) said they will support us for five years, but their behaviour hasnt been in line with this promise. Our people are smart. They are watching them (Congress), he said in an interview to a Kannada channel on Friday. The JD(S) and Congress currently share power in Karnataka. The Congress and JD(S) have 79 and 37 MLAs, respectively, in the 225-member Karnataka Legislative Assembly. The two parties forged a post-poll alliance in the state last year to keep BJP out of power. The BJP had emerged the single largest party winning 105 Assembly seats in the state. Gowdas remark comes amidst reports of rising differences between the Congress and JD(S) leaders over the functioning of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy who happens to be the son of HD Dewe Gowda. Several state unit Congress leaders are unhappy over being denied key roles in the government despite being the largest constituent of the coalition. The Congress had announced unconditional support to Kumaraswamy in May last year after the state assembly polls delivered a hung verdict. The BJP is the single largest party in the House with 105 MLAs. Gowda said that if the government fails to complete its term, the Congress would be responsible. He said that there is no threat to the government from JD(S) camp and went on to add that Kumaraswamy has accepted all arbitrary demands of the Congress. There will be no danger from my side. I dont know how long this (Karnataka) government will last. It is in the hands of the Congress and not Kumarswamy, he said. The JDS has accepted all arbitrary demands of the Congress, the former PM added. The Congress party recently dissolved Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee. However, it retained its president and working president. The Congress party was expecting a good show in the general elections in the state but was outnumbered by the BJP. The Congress won just one seat and the JD(S) two out of Karnatakas quota of 28 parliamentary seats. The remaining 25 seats were pocketed by the BJP an an independent candidate.

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