Stopping Siddaramaiah: H D Kumaraswamy asks why not Deshpande for CM

New Delhi/Bengaluru: The significance was lost on no-one. On his 100th day in the chief minister’s chair, courtesy the Congress party, JD(S) leader and Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy met in Delhi with Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in a clear bid to save the blushes for his government – in coalition with the Congress – from any further attacks by its 'unhappy' coalition partner.

A week after former CM Siddaramaiah set political circles abuzz with his comment that he would like to become chief minister again – setting off jitters in the JD(S) camp that the government was about to fall- Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy got his own back by saying that there were many Congressmen who would prefer R.V. Deshpande (revenue minister) as the Congress nominee for CM.  

The affable Deshpande, a seasoned politician with deep pockets, was in the Janata parivar (the precursor to the JD(S)), before he joined the Congress in 1999  and successfully helmed the Industries ministry under Siddaramaiah.
"Everyone has the aspiration to become CM. Anybody can become the CM. Yeddyurappa (BJP state president)  can too. You cannot grow in politics if you don't have aspirations," said Mr Kumaraswamy, seeking to downplay long time rival Siddaramaiah's not so subtle attack. 

"Mr Siddaramaiah is a senior leader and former CM. There is nothing wrong in wanting to become CM again. One thing I would like to tell everyone is that this coalition government has complete protection under Mr Siddaramaiah's leadership,'' said  Mr Kumaraswamy.   

The JD(S)-Congress coalition government has taken off smoothly and will complete the full term without hiccups, averred the CM, interacting with the media in Delhi. The CM reportedly discussed the expansion of his cabinet which has seven vacancies, and the appointments to state-run boards and corporations with the Congress president.  On the controversy over the induction of the KPCC president and JD(S) president into the coalition's coordination committee, he said it was a minor issue. A decision would be taken during the committee’s meeting on August 31. Siddaramaiah is said to be opposing the induction of state JD(S) chief A.H. Vishwanath into the committee but is all for the inclusion of KPCC president Dinesh Gundurao. 

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