Herald: Cong-JDS cabinet reposes faith in Kumaramaswamy after LS polls debacle

Cong-JDS cabinet reposes faith in Kumaramaswamy after LS polls debacle

25 May 2019 06:06am IST
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25 May 2019 06:06am IST
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PTI, BENGALURU: Shaken by the rout of the ruling Congress-JDS combine in the Lok Sabha polls, the Karnataka cabinet Friday reposed its "faith and confidence" in the leadership of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, asserting that the coalition would continue.

As the ruling alliance suffered a humiliating defeat with the BJP painting the entire state saffron, winning 25 of the 28 seats, the results are widely expected to have a bearing on the stability of the Kumaraswamy government. As voices emerged in the Congress to end the alliance, blaming the JDS partnership for the party's worst ever performance in the Lok Sabha polls, Kumaraswamy had  offered to resign, when some senior Congress leaders met him last evening, top sources in the government said. However, they convinced him against it and requested him tocontinue as the head of the coalition government, while ensuring full cooperation.

"It (resignation) is a closedchapter now," they said. The Chief Minister said he was "mentally ready" to resign if "we didn't want him to lead the government", but he was cut short by Congress Ministers, who asked him to continue in the top post, a minister said after the cabinet meeting. During the meeting, discussions largely focusedon saving the coalition and continuing the government, amidworries of dissidence within and threats of "poaching"attempts by BJP. Kumaraswamy also is said to have spoken to AICCGeneral Secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal over phone after the results and requested him to come down to the city for a meeting soon, to sort out differencesin the coalition. "We have reposed the faith and confidence in the leadership of Kumaraswamy ji as Chief Minister. 

This is thedecision taken by all the Ministers today... there is noinstability to this government, it will continue," DeputyChief Minister G Parameshwara told reporters, flanked by the ChiefMinister and other cabinet colleagues. Noting that the "informal" cabinet meeting called by the Chief Minister took stock of the situation after the Lok Sabha election results, he said, "we discussed about it at length, and this "referendum or mandate" is nationally for the government at the Centre and not for the state. 

"We will continue in the state and our coalition will continue under the leadership of Kumaraswamy ji, and all our MLAs are with us," Parameshwara said, as he accused the oppositionBJP of trying to destabilise the government. "They (opposition) will not be successful and we will not 

allow them to succeed in destabilising the government." Continuing his "boycott" of the media,Kumaraswamy did not utter a word though he sat along with cabinet colleagues throughout,as the Deputy CM briefed about the cabinet meeting. Kumaraswamy had recently declared that he was 'boycotting' the media, apparently upset over the coverage of the Mandya Lok Sabha polls, where his son Nikhil contestedand lost. 

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