Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy Sunday met AICC General Secretary K C Venugopal here to discuss political developments in the state, amid coalition worries and dissidence within alliance partner Congress surfacing again.
The leaders reportedly discussed the threat by rebel Congress MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi to quit the party along with legislators close to him, recently concluded Lok Sabha polls in the state and preparations for the May 19 by-polls to Chincholi and Kundgol assembly segments, sources said.
They are also said to have discussed the strategy to be adapted to pacify the disgruntled MLAs, who may pose a threat to the coalition government.
Kumaraswamy had on Thursday taken stock of the situation with his deputy G Parameshwara and senior Minister D K Shivakumar.
Mainpuri bypoll: Family members of Mulayam Yadav's 'gurus' campaign for Dimple Yadav, say she will romp home
In another development, Yeshwanthpura Congress legislator S T Somashekara has reportedly convened a meeting of “like-minded” MLAs on April 30 to seek their suggestions to find a solution to the present political situation in the state.
The scheduled meeting has irked some Congressmen, with party MLC G Raghu Achar slamming Somashekar and asking him to discuss any issues he may have with the party leadership.
However, an MLA close to Somashekar, not willing to speak in detail, said they would discuss some issues faced by MLAs under the coalition government and also long-pending development work.
Somashekar, also chairman of the Bangalore Development Authority, had said in January that Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah should again be made chief minister and that development work had come to a grinding halt.
His comments had irked Kumaraswamy, who had even threatened to step down.
Reacting to a question about the meeting called by Somashekar, Karnataka Congress President Dinesh Gundu Rao said he was not aware of it and would gather information.
The meeting might have been called with good intentions, he said.
“A meeting of MLAs close to him (Somashekar) might have been called to strengthen the party. Ours is not a Hitler-like party or one which follows that style of politics… there is independence to hold such meetings in the interest of the party,” he said.
Speculation about the longevity of the coalition government has again came to the fore as the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls drew to a close Tuesday, with state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa predicting its collapse after the May 23 election results.
There are talks within political circles that any adverse results for the coalition in the Lok Sabha polls, which they fought in alliance, despite resentment among the grass root workers and leaders of both the parties, would have its implications on the longevity of the government.
Adding to this was the threat by Jarkiholi, who has been hobnobbing with the BJP for some time now, that he along with other MLAs would resign from the Congress soon in bulk, which has caused fear among the ruling coalition leaders as it would trigger the “number game” in the assembly.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with Venugopal, Rao expressed confidence about “good results” in both the Lok Sabha polls and assembly by-election in two constituencies.
“We will win more than 20 seats (of total 28) in the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.
He said though the media was talking about a Modi wave, but there was an “undercurrent” in favour of the Congress.
The Congress has fielded Subash Rathod from Chincholi and widow of former Minister C S Shivalli- Kusumavathi from Kundgol for the May 19 by-polls.
The Janata Dal (Secular) is supporting Congress candidates in both the constituencies.
The BJP has named Avinash Jadhav from Chincholi and Chkkangoudra Siddangouda Ishwargoud from Kundgol.
The by-poll to Chincholi was necessitated as Umesh Jadhav, Avinash’s father, quit as Congress MLA and joined the BJP to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Gulbarga, while the Kundgol fell vacant following the death of MLA and Minister C S Shivalli.
Monday is the last date for filing nominations for the May 19 by-polls, for which results will be declared on May 23, along with the Lok Sabha poll results.