Deve Gowda told Rahul Gandhi, "I told them we didn't want coalition government, but Congress leaders approached us."
Bengaluru: Former Prime Minister, JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda said that he told Congress president Rahul Gandhi that he is hurt by the repeated criticisms levelled against some leaders of the coalition government in Karnataka.
Gowda's reaction comes in the backdrop of leaders of the state repeatedly airing their differences publicly following the alliance's drubbing in the recently-contested Lok Sabha polls in the state.
The two parties managed to bag only one Lok Sabha seat each in the polls, while the BJP won 25 of the 28 seats in the state.
"At least here afterwards (induction of independents in the state Cabinet), there should not be any reaction by my party members or that of the Congress," the JD(S) chief told reporters in Bengaluru.
However, Kannada Prabha reported that Rahul Gandhi, while reacting to Deve Gowda's concerns, said, "Right now, I am helpless. You have to manage him (referring to Sidddaramaiah).
Two independent MLAs were recently inducted into the chief minister H D Kumaraswamy-led Cabinet with an apparent goal to strengthen the 13-month-old coalition.
Gowda said he told Gandhi, "From day one I am watching all this and I'm deeply hurt. This is the first time I am telling you. You take a decision. Please request all your Karnataka leaders (to not speak in public about the government)."
Asked about senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah's reported remarks after meeting Gandhi on Wednesday that the coalition is not working well and the party would have performed better if it had contested the elections alone, Gowda said, "I don't want to react now, there is ample time."
On some leaders expressing the view that the alliance was hurting both the parties, the JD(S) chief said the coalition was not his party's idea, but of Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
"I told them we didn't want this (coalition government), but Parameshwara and Muniyappa approached us. (Mallikarjun) Kharge told me that he had been ordered to ensure that this happens," Gowda said.
G Parameshwara, K H Muniyappa and Mallikarjun Kharge are senior Congress leaders.
* With inputs from PTI
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Last Updated 21, Jun 2019, 12:30 PM