As a last minute effort to save the 13-month-old JDS-Congress coalition, Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is likely to step down and pave way for senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge to take the mantle.
According to highly placed sources in the Congress, a suggestion was given by the former prime minister and JDS national president H.D. Deve Gowda to Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi to tide over the situation following resignation of as many as 13 MLAs to their membership in the assembly.
Deve Gowda, who is having a good rapport with the Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, contacted her last night and reportedly put the proposal and assured that his party would extend support to Kharge and keep the BJP once again away from occupying the seat of power.
According to sources, Sonia Gandhi, who had convened a meeting of the core-group of the AICC last night, discussed about the new proposal put forward by Gowda and decided to send Mallikarjuna Kharge to Karnataka to take the reigns of the party and save the Coalition set-up in Karnataka.
Kharge, who had till recently maintained silence from the state politics plunged into action and reportedly made contact with some of the disgruntled MLAs who had resigned and brought the JDS-Congress coalition government on the brink of collapse in the state.
Speaking to newsmen in Bengaluru on Sunday, Kharge said: “Speaker K.N. Ramesh Kumar is yet to accept the resignations of the MLAs, and many of them are likely to change their decisions.”
Stating that he had spoken to several rebel MLAs, who have pushed the party to worst situations, are not willing to leave the Congress, he said that “Congress party will issue whip to all the MLAs to take part in the sssembly session beginning from July 12”.
With Kharge emerging as new power center in Karnataka, already several Congress MLAs are thronging to his residence and extending their support to the Congress leader, who was defeated in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections from his traditional seat Kalaburagi.
“If Kharge emerged as the new leader to take the mantle of the State, even a few of the BJP MLAs from the Hyderabad-Karnataka region may join the Congress” a top Congress leader told UNI.
The AICC general secretary and party in charge for Karnataka K.C. Venugopal, who is holding parleys with the senior Congress leaders to tide over the political situation, is also likely to meet Deve Gowda and the chief minister tonight.
Deve Gowda, recently had disclosed that when the proposal had come in 2018 to form coalition government, he had suggested Kharge’s name for the chief minister post. (UNI)