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Congress downplays rift after Kumaraswamy says ready to step down as Karnataka CM

Karnataka Congress in-charge KC Venugopal has asked state Congress to send a show cause notice to ST Somashekar, the MLA who reportedly spoke against Kumaraswamy. 

Congress downplays rift after Kumaraswamy says ready to step down as Karnataka CM

The Congress on Monday got on the backfoot after Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that he will step down from the post if MLAs of the grand old party do not show trust in him. Trying to douse the fire over the issue, former CM Siddaramaiah said there was no trouble in the Congress-JDS alliance.

Blaming it on the media, the Congress leader said: "You (media) are the people who create trouble. You ask one person, then second person and then third person. There is no trouble, I will speak to HD Kumaraswamy."

Another Congress veteran Mallikarjun Kharge cautioned party MLAs to avoid making such statements. "They (Karnataka Congress MLAs) shouldn't react openly to the media. We've all come together to fight BJP-RSS. It's not advisable for any member to speak against wishes of the party high command. Such incidents will create confusion in a coalition," Kharge said.

Some Congress MLAs in the state had said that Siddaramaiah was their sole leader. Some even questioned the work done by Kumaraswamy as the CM. Karnataka Congress in-charge KC Venugopal has asked state Congress to send a show cause notice to ST Somashekar, the MLA who reportedly spoke against Kumaraswamy. The party has sought clarification from him for his remarks.

Reacting sharply to the comments, Kumaraswamy had said that Congress leaders must deal with the issue at hand. "They are crossing the line. Congress leaders must control their MLAs. If they want to continue with it, I am ready to step down," he said on Monday.

However, Deputy CM G Parameshwara had defended the statements coming from the Congress leaders saying that Siddaramaiah was the best CM Karnataka had ever had. "Siddaramaiah has been best CM. He is our CLP leader. What is wrong in expressing opinions," he said.