Siddaramaiah had about a year ago hinted at the collapse of the coalition after the Lok Sabha polls.
Bengaluru: Fourteen months after he returned to power with the help of the Congress, H.D. Kumaraswamy had to bid adieu to power losing the trust vote in the Assembly after the exit of 15 Congress and JD(S) MLAs from the coalition’s ranks.
Mr Kumaraswamy could remain CM for 20 months with the help of the BJP in 2006-07 but could not match his previous record this time with his tenure cut short to 14 months because of the rebellion.
When the Congress and JD (S) joined hands to form the coalition in May 2018, national and regional parties had described it as a precursor to the formation of a model Mahaghatbandhan at the national level to fight and beat the BJP. However, the 2019 Parliament elections proved otherwise and wrote the prelude to the collapse of the Kumaraswamy government. The BJP tried six times, unsuccessfully, to dislodge the government in the past one year but it was the rout of the Congress and JD(S) in the Parliament elections in Karnataka which finally sent a clear signal to the dissidents and disgruntled MLAs that there was no future for them in the coalition forcing them to knock on the doors of the saffron party.
But the Congress must take more of the blame for the fall of the government. Even though the party gave it in writing to JD(S) supremo, H.D. Deve Gowda about its commitment to support Mr Kumaraswamy as CM for five years, national and state leaders did little to firm up the unity between the coalition partners. Congress Legislature Party leader, Mr Siddaramaiah did not even agree to induct state presidents of the two parties into the co-ordination committee because he wanted to keep A.H. Vishwanath, his bete noire away from the policy making forum.
And AICC general secretary for Karnataka, K.C. Venugopal who of late, had virtually reduced himself to being a “rubber stamp” of Siddaramaiah, caused more damage to the coalition by agreeing to every move of the former CM, said sources.
In fact, many have raised the question whether the former CM did enough to save the coalition with his loyalist-turned-dissident Bhairati Basavaraj saying in a video released on Sunday that Mr Siddaramaiah had about a year ago hinted at the collapse of the coalition after the Lok Sabha polls.