Hubballi: Senior JD(S) leader Basavaraj Horatti has criticised the coalition government in Karnataka. After having won the legislative council from the Karnataka West Teacher's constituency for the seventh time, he has now been denied the chairman's post in the council.

Horatti spoke exclusively to MyNation and candidly expressed how Congress's equation with the JD(S) has changed in the last seven months.


MyNation: Are the coalition partners Congress and JD(S) in Karnataka not sailing smooth together?

Basavaraj Horatti: Initially, when the Congress leaders met the JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda, they said the support will be unconditional. The Congress was desperate then. But now, after the government's formation, things have changed. One of the major instances is the allocation of portfolios where chief minister HD Kumaraswamy had no say. It's not just that. Be it the transfer of officers or the appointment of chairpersons for various departments, the Congress seems to be calling the shots.

MN: Does Siddaramaiah have an upper hand in the Karnataka government?

BH: Some Congress leaders have openly said that their chief minister is not Kumaraswamy, it is Siddaramaiah. He does have an upper hand. While he knows the pulse of the people since he hails from the JD(S), his relationship with Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy is never sweet.

Also watch: Basavaraj Horatti criticises Siddaramaiah's dominance in Karnataka's coalition government

MN: Will Ramesh Jarkiholi topple the coalition government?

BH: I am in politics for so long. Let me tell you, it is not easy for 20-odd MLAs to resign just like that. In fact, during this Assembly election, those MLAS, who worked hard didn't win. Some who had money to splurge too didn't win. So, it's getting to be increasingly difficult to judge a voter's mind. Why will the MLAs then resign? My guess is that four or five MLAs may follow Ramesh Jarkiholi. And no doubt, Congress is afraid.

MN: Will the Lingayat card continue to be played in Karnataka?

BH: The Lingayat game is over. The proposal was sent to the Centre, which rejected it. The only route available is to fight it legally.

MN: Is MB Patil the new Lingayat face of the Congress representing north Karnataka?

BH: Initially, the people of north Karnataka supported the JD(S). Later, they shifted their loyalty to the BJP. The Congress and the JD(S) gradually began to ignore this region. However, now the voters are changing. And the Congress wants to tap into this change. No wonder, MB Patil, a Lingayat, is being nurtured to emerge strong in this region.

MN: Will the JD(S) fight 2019 Lok Sabha polls alone?

BH: With the Congress leaders taking decisions arbitrarily by neglecting the JD(S) members, the latter is upset and angry. Thus, this announcement of the JD(S) fighting 2019 Lok Sabha elections alone has been made. Though, I'd say it's not final. On January 3, we have a meeting to decide our further course of action.