Karnataka JD(S) chief H Vishwanath on Tuesday resigned from his post, owning the moral responsibility for the party’s poor performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections. The party managed to bag just one of the seven seats it contested.
“I am quitting and taking the moral responsibility of the debacle in the Lok Sabha elections. I won’t change my mind,” Mr Vishwanath told reporters.
Vishwanath also targeted Congress, the coalition partner in the state, particularly the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is a Congress leader.
Vishwanath said that he had kept the party presidents of both Congress and JD(S) from coordination committee. This had resulted in failure of coordination effort. Criticising his party leaders as well, he said neither Mr. Gowda nor CM H.D. Kumaraswamy had objected to the non inclusion.
Mr Vishwanath said he was unhappy at not being a part of the coalition’s coordination committee headed by Siddaramaiah, adding that “state presidents of the two alliance partners were not in the Coordination Committee”.
JDS-Congress coalition in the state, since last year, came together for the national elections too, however, the two parties managed to win only one seat each. Rival BJP won 25 seats.
Speaking to reporters, he said that the humiliating defeat of the party supremo H.D. Deve Gowda was something of a “khedda operation” and blamed it on the Congress for not offering the seat to its coalition partner.
“In the beginning itself, we had asked for the Mysuru parliamentary seat. There was a sitting Congress MP in Tumakuru but Deve Gowda contested from the seat,” he said.
To a query on whether he would join the cabinet, Mr. Vishwanath said, “I won’t refuse the offer. But, I won’t ask for any position.”
In the coming days, a state cabinet expansion and rejig is likely in Karnataka to allay the dissatisfied lawmakers in both the Congress and the JDS.