Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda Thursday said he told Congress president Rahul Gandhi that he has been hurt by the repeated public utterances of some leaders of the grand old party and his JD(S) about the coalition government in Karnataka.
Mr Gowda's reaction comes in the backdrop of leaders of the state's ruling Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition repeatedly airing their differences publicly following the alliance's drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls in the state.
The two parties managed to bag only one Lok Sabha seat each in the polls, while the BJP won 25 of the 28 seats in the state.
"At least here, afterwards (induction of independents in the state cabinet), there should not be any public reaction by my party or Congress," the JD(S) chief told reporters.
Two Independent assembly lawmakers were recently inducted into the Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy-led cabinet with an apparent goal to strengthen the 13-month-old coalition.
Mr Gowda said he told Mr Gandhi, "From day one I am watching, I'm hurt very badly. This is the first time I am telling you. You take a decision. Please request all your Karnataka leaders (to not speak in public about the government)."
Asked about senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah's reported remarks after meeting Mr Gandhi on Wednesday that the coalition is not working well and the party would have performed better if it had contested the elections alone, Mr Gowda said, "I don't want to react now; there is ample time."
On some leaders expressing the view that the alliance was hurting both the parties, the JD(S) chief said the coalition was not his party's idea but of Mr Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad.
"I told them we didn't want this (coalition government), but Parameshwara and Muniyappa approached us. (Mallikarjun) Kharge told me that he had been ordered to ensure that this happens," Mr Gowda said.
G Parameshwara, KH Muniyappa and Mallikarjun Kharge are senior Congress leaders.