Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar has emerged as the Congress’s main troubleshooter. He spoke to Hindustan Times about the coalition government’s chances. Edited excerpts:
How do you plan to save the coalition government?
I do not know why the BJP is in such a big hurry. They have the entire country with them and only 3-4 states are not ruled by them. I do not know why they are so worried about the Congress. We are not able to understand that. We are trying to convince our [rebel] legislators. Despite whatever pulls and pressures they are facing, we are hopeful that they will come around. Defence minister Rajnath Singh said on the floor of the House that his party is in no way connected with Karnataka developments. But we could see in Mumbai and Bengaluru how [BS] Yeddyurappa and other [BJP] leaders are all involved…
But in Mumbai your party legislators sought police protection…
Why were BJP leaders in Mumbai? Why did the former deputy CM and former speaker go to the resort [where the rebels are staying] and some MLAs received them at the airport and others at their hotel? How could they stay there? In Bengaluru too, Yeddyurappa is meeting all of them. We have proof of offers and other things. A lot of tapes have also come out. This is what the BJP is doing.
There is a perception that former CM Siddaramaiah is behind it…
I do not want to comment on that. I do not believe it.
What is the best case scenario for the Congress?
There is no question of fresh polls. I am confident that this government will continue. We have to save this secular government at any cost.
But how will you save the government?
Let us see. The speaker has his own system. We know how he has dealt with earlier resignations. The MLAs may also change their minds. Only time will give the answer to that. I do not want to comment much on that.
Jul 12, 2019 05:34 IST