After K Sudhakar, S T Somashekar minister in the outgoing BJP government on Wednesday blamed senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah for the defection of a group of his party’s MLAs that led to the collapse of the H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition government in 2019 after being in power for 14 months.
K Sudhakar and S T Somashekar, who were Health and Cooperation Ministers respectively in the Basavaraj Bommai government, raised the issue at a time when Siddaramaiah is in a stiff competition with state Congress president D K Shivakumar to become the Chief Minister, after the Congress won the Assembly polls by securing 135 seats.
Sudhakar and Somashekar were earlier with the Congress. They were among the 17 Congress-JD(S) legislators who quit and defected to BJP that led to the collapse of the coalition government and paved the way for BJP to come to power.
”During the JDS-Congress coalition govt in 2018, whenever MLAs (Congress) went to the then Coordination Committee Chairman Siddaramaiah with their concerns, he used to express his helplessness and say that he has no say in the govt and his constituency/district works itself are stalled,” Sudhakar claimed.
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Further, Siddaramaiah used to assure MLAs to wait till 2019 Lok Sabha polls and come what may he won’t allow the then coalition government to continue even for a single day after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Ultimately, some MLAs including him had to inevitably quit Congress and go back to the people in bypolls, to protect the ‘karyakartas’ and supporters in their constituencies, he said, and asked ”Can Shri Siddaramaiah deny the fact that he had no role, implicitly or explicitly, in this move by Congress MLAs?” Somashekar said, despite being the Chairman of the Coordination Committee Siddaramaiah always expressed his helplessness to address the concerns of MLAs during the Congress-JDS coalition government. ”No one can deny the truth that this pushed some of us to quit the party and go for bypolls,” he said.
Sudhakar and Somashekar, after defecting to BJP, contested the bypolls on the party ticket and won, and also went on to become Ministers in the government.
Sudhakar lost the May 10 Assembly polls from Chikkaballapura seat, while Somashekar won the Yeshwanthpur in Bengaluru.