Karnataka CM offers to quit if Congress can't control MLAs

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Bengaluru (IANS): An exasperated Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday offered to quit if the coalition partner Congress could not control its MLAs from criticizing his style of functioning.

"I am ready to quit if my style of functioning is not acceptable to anyone. The Congress must control its MLAs and resolve the issues. If they remark against me frequently in open meetings, I am willing to step down," Kumaraswamy told the media here.

The Chief Minister's remarks came a day after two Congress ministers and a legislator on Sunday alleged here that no development works took place in the last seven-eight months under Kumaraswamy's administration and claimed that former Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was their leader and was a better administrator.

"I don't want to stick on to the chair. Deputy Chief Minister (G. Parameshwara) and myself are trying to do a good job and are working together," asserted Kumaraswamy.

The Janata Dal-Secular leader also claimed that the coalition government had invested Rs 1 lakh crore in Bengaluru alone during the past 8 months.

"But to deliver good governance, we require the support of all MLAs," Kumaraswamy reiterated.

Housing Minister M.T.B. Nagaraju and Backward Classes Minister C. Puttaranga Shetty, who belong to the Congress, also said that Siddaramaiah was their Chief Minister.

Playing down the latest tiff between the coalition partners, Paremeshwara said there was no wrong in the Congress ministers saying that Siddaramaiah was their leader.

"What's wrong in them saying Siddaramaiah was their leader? He is our CLP (Congress Legislature Party) leader. He did a good job as a CM for the past 5 years. They have expressed their personal opinion on the work Siddaramaiah did during his tenure as our Chief Minister (2013-18)," Parameshwara told reporters later.

Nagaraju represents the Hoskote Assembly segment, Puttaranga Shetty the Chamarajanagar seat Somashekar Yeshwanthapura the Bengaluru northwest.

A hung verdict in the May 2018 Assembly elections led the Congress with about 80 lawmakers support the JD-S with 37 legislators to form a coalition government after the BJP with 104 MLAs failed to prove a simple majority in the 225-member House.

In a related development, Congress state unit president Dinesh Gundu Rao said he had issued a notice to Somashekar for his statements against the coalition government.

"The coalition government is working for everyone's welfare. Somashekar's statements are condemnable," Rao told the media here.

Meanwhile, BJP's Lok Sabha member Shobha Karandlaje said Somashekar's statement testified the mood in the Congress camp as some of its MLAs were unhappy with the "unholy government" and wanted to bring back the "jungle raj" of Siddaramaiah.

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