In a startling disclosure, Deccan Chronicle has reported that former Prime Minister and JD(S) president, HD Deve Gowda has claimed that he had proposed the name of senior Congress leader Malikarjun Kharge to head the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in the state of Karnataka, considering the fragile health condition of his son, H.D. Kumaraswamy.
However, as per the JD(S) supremo, his idea was rejected by the top Congress leadership, i.e. UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi and Congress president, Rahul Gandhi. Gowda was speaking at a huge public meeting at Mandya where he also announced that his grandson, Nikhil Kumaraswamy, would be the JD(S) candidate from Mandya. Gowda argued that the induction of his grandsons Prajwal Revanna and Nikhil Kumaraswamy had nothing to do with dynasty politics and that they had been brought in only to strengthen the party. He said, “I am not a selfish man to bring my entire family into politics. I cried in Hassan on Wednesday not for the sake of my grandson but because of my connection with that place in the last six decades.” The former PM also explained his rationale and said that his party won only 37 seats and wanted to leave the CM post for the Congress. However, Congress insisted on making Kumaraswamy the Chief Minister in order to unite all political parties against the communal forces.
The shocking revelation from Deve Gowda has exposed the faultlines in the JD(S)-Congress alliance as well as the top leadership of the Congress. Gowda’s remarks do make sense. The JD(S) had won only 37 seats in a 224-member assembly. It, therefore, did not make much sense for the coalition to decide on H.D. Kumaraswamy as the Karnataka CM. However, what is surprising is the fact that Deve Gowda has disclosed this when the Lok Sabha elections are around the corner. It strongly suggests that all may not be well between the two parties. This seems more like a public manifestation of the negative sentiments brewing between the two parties.
However, the bigger issue here is why Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi might have rejected the idea of appointing Kharge as the Karnataka CM. Kharge is a senior Congress leader and is also the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha. One ought to wonder why the Congress power centre turned down the offer of appointing him as the CM. It seems that Kharge might not be in the good books of the Nehru-Gandhi family. After all, proximity to the Nehru-Gandhi family is the only determinant of career advancement within the Congress. Last month, Karnataka Deputy CM, G Parameshwara had accused the Congress of being anti-Dalit. He had said, “PK Basavalingappa and KH Ranganath missed the CM post. Mallikarjun Kharge also couldn’t become CM. I missed it thrice. Somehow, I was made the Deputy CM.” His claim of Kharge not being able to become the CM of the state stands vindicated after this statement from Deve Gowda
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