- Siddaramaiah said that coalition is strong and will survive
- Two videos have surfaced in which he had cast doubt on alliance
- HD Kumaraswamy has also dismissed any threat to the coalition he leads
Siddaramaiah, the former Karnataka Chief Minister recently heard questioning the longevity of the HD Kumaraswamy government, on Friday declared that the Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition is strong and will survive. The former chief minister, who took days to clarify on two videos that had mysteriously turned up in public domain, also insisted that he wasn't unhappy.
Siddaramaiah broke his silence on the two videos after a meeting of the Congress coordination commitee on Friday that he attended in Bengaluru. "Who told you I am unhappy? What I have said and in what context you do not know," the Congress said in response to questions from reporters about the videos.
He also said it was unethical to record something "that is being said casually and then to share it without any context". "You don't know the context. Nobody knows," he said but did not explain who had recorded him, or the context of his conversation.
In one of the two videos, the former chief minister is heard questioning the need for a fresh budget, which is to be presented by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy of the JDS next week. Siddaramaiah had presented a budget in February and felt that could continue to serve the purpose.
In the second video also made at a nature cure hospital where he was taking treatment, he appears to question the longevity of the coalition.
After Friday's meeting, Siddaramaiah did not have any such doubts.
"We have formed a coalition government so that the communal BJP party should not come to power. The government will be safe. There is no doubt in that. It will be stable," he said.
Leaders of both the Congress and JDS have been maintaining there was no crisis.
Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, who will be presenting the budget, also dismissed any threat to the coalition he leads.
Mr Kumaraswamy said, "It is all media created. It will run 5 years."
But there are of course those who hope the Congress and the JDS won't be able to pull it off.
Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa of the BJP, who tried to form a government after the May election and had to resign ahead of a vote of confidence, said, "It doesn't look as if this government will last long." Mr Yeddyurappa, who had once prophesised that the government won't last even three months, didn't spell out a time frame this time.
Even if Siddaramaiah has been persuaded to keep his reservations to himself - challenges do remain for the Congress. Six cabinet berths remain empty as the party hesitates to fill them and face the anger of those left out.
For now, the coalition partners are working on their Common Minimum Programme and preparing for the budget session.