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Karnataka Congress leader blames Siddaramaiah for crisis, calls him 'thief inside party''

Siddaramaiah has categorically denied any role in the present political crisis in the southern state.

Karnataka Congress leader blames Siddaramaiah for crisis, calls him 'thief inside party''

Bengaluru: As concerted efforts are on to resolve the current political crisis in Karnataka, a senior Congress leader has blamed former chief minister Siddaramaiah for sabotaging the coalition government, terming him as "a thief inside the party".

According to ANI, a senior Congress leader, who has been asked to keep the flock of legislators together, said that party strongman Siddaramaiah is "playing games" to wreck the Congress-JD(S) coalition for "his prestige".

"There are thieves inside the house (Congress). One man (Siddaramaiah) is doing this for his prestige. He is playing all these games. MLAs who are there (in Mumbai) are in constant touch with Siddaramaiah but I don`t know what my party high command is doing," the senior Congress leader said on the condition of anonymity.

 

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However, Siddaramaiah has categorically denied any role in the present political crisis in the southern state. "I am in touch with 5-6 MLAs. I can`t reveal all the details. Everybody is loyal to the party. It is not a question of a person being loyal to me. Everybody is expected to be loyal to the party," Siddaramaiah had told reporters.

All this comes at a time when both factions of the coalition – the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular - have been holding a series of meetings since morning to consider the possibility of saving the government a day after 11 legislators resigned.

The Congress's state in charge, KC Venugopal, has been camping in Bengaluru and had met state party leaders at a private hotel. Former prime minister and JDS veteran HD Deve Gowda, is meeting party leaders ahead of the return of his son, Chief Minister, HD Kumaraswamy, later tonight from a private visit to the United States. 

Congress's troubleshooter DK Shivakumar, who tore up the resignation letters of the legislators to stop them from quitting, also went across to meet Deve Gowda.

The Congress has blamed the BJP for the crisis, a number of BJP leaders have pegged it on Siddaramaiah terming him "greedy" for the chief minister post. 

The JD(S), on its part, has asked Congress for its final decision by the evening.

"We have sent our message through DK Shivakumar to KC Venugopal (Karnataka Congress in-charge) to convince their MLAs and let the government run smoothly. It`s very difficult for us to face such situations time and again. This time it needs to be clear. We have also called legislature meet this evening and will tell our MLAs to be with party and decisions," a senior JDS leader told ANI.

"We need your final decision, and speak to your party leaders and clear it," the JD(S) told ally Congress. 

Congress leaders KC Venugopal and Mallikarjun Kharge met CLP leader Sidharamaiah, Deputy Chief Minister Dr G Parameshwara, state Home Minister MB Patil, Priyank Kharge and Satish Jarakiholi at Windsor Manor Hotel in Bengaluru.

Cutting his visit short, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy will be flying back to India from the US on Sunday evening.

The strength of the ruling coalition in Karnataka has come down to 105, which is eight short of the half-way mark of 113.

Congress MLAs Anand Singh and Ramesh Jarkiholi had resigned from the government earlier this week. Those MLAs, who resigned from the Assembly, include BC Patil, H Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda, S Hebbar, Mahesh Kumatalli, Gopalayya, Ramesh Jharkiholi, and Pratap Gowda Patil. 

The dissident MLAs have reached Mumbai and are staying in Mumbai`s Sofitel Hotel.