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Bengaluru: Rift between top leaders widens, puts coalition into trouble

Daijiworld Media Network – Bengaluru (RJP)

Bengaluru, May 14: The rift between Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and chairman of coalition coordination committee, Siddaramaiah, and his political rival JD(S) state president H Vishwanath, widened further on Monday as both leaders continued attacking each other.

"I take pride in being the chief minister who implemented all promises made in the election manifesto. I am ready for a public debate on this. But I will not argue with those who are jealous and incompetent," tweeted Siddaramaiah during the day.

Siddaramaiah was referring to Vishwanath's comments on Sunday that administration under Siddaramaiah as chief minister did not live up to expectations. Vishwanath had made the statement while hitting out at Congress leaders who wanted Siddaramaiah to be the chief minister again.

"The coalition dharma, which I am bound to follow, has put a lock on my mouth. So I will not respond in detail to Vishwanath's irresponsible statements. Vishwanath is known for such malicious statements. May God bless him with wisdom. I will raise this in the next coordination committee meeting. First it was G T Deve Gowda, now Vishwanath...I don't know who'll be next. The JD(S) leadership should take note of such irresponsible statements targeting me,” Siddaramaiah added.

Vishwanath later responded with a tweet. "The 'I am the CM' subject is against coalition dharma and it started primarily with Siddaramaiah himself. Invite me to the coordination committee meeting where I will answer. Let your clan deity Beereshwara give you good wisdom?” Vishwanath wrote standing by his statement.

Speaking to reporters later, Vishwanath accused Siddaramaiah of trying to destabilise the coalition. "He is heading a coordination committee that is expected to ensure smooth functioning of the coalition. But he is the one creating trouble," he said.

It is said that Siddaramaiah is not in favour of Vishwanath coming aboard the coordination committee as both do not get along. Vishwanath is said to have worked for Siddaramaiah's huge defeat in the Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency last year.

Vishwanath quit the Congress in 2017 after falling out with Siddaramaiah. Vishwanath and Siddaramaiah both belong to the same backward Kuruba community and belong to Mysuru region.

Vishwanath was top Congress leader and was also a minister before moving to the JD(S). Siddaramaiah was with the JD(S) when he was deputy chief minister before moving to the Congress.

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