Congress asks Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy to be courageous after he expresses anguish as chief minister

Following the emotional outburst of HD Kumaraswamy admitting that not everything is hunky-dory in the coalition government that he is running with the help of alliance partner Congress, the national party on Monday sought to play down the Karnataka chief minister's anguish and advised him to face such circumstances courageously.

Kumaraswamy had broken down on Saturday at an event organised by his party Janata Dal (Secular). While speaking at the function, organised to felicitate him for becoming the chief minister, Kumaraswamy expressed his anguish at the state of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, which is losing the support of the people. Kumaraswamy said he was “not happy about being the chief minister” and that the post was “not a bed of roses”. “You all are happy that I became the chief minister. But I’m not,” he told party workers at the event in Bengaluru.

File image of HD Kumaraswamy. AP

File image of HD Kumaraswamy. AP

Congress leader and deputy chief minister G Parameshwara played down Kumaraswamy's statement and insisted that the chief minister is happy. “He must be happy. The chief minister has to be always happy,” Parameshwara said. “If he is happy, we will all be happy.”

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge also commented on his breakdown, asking him to be courageous. "You have to face problems. Simply expressing won't give a good message to the people who supported secular parties. Kumaraswamy should be courageous to face such circumstances," he said according to News18 reports.

"If the pressure gets to me, I'll have no hesitation in resigning in less than a couple of hours. I'm not after power. I was only interested in becoming the chief minister to save our farmers from debt trap," said Kumaraswamy. Explaining his difficulty in running the government, the chief minister said he has to work with its coalition partner Congress, fend off the opposition BJP and also tend to the aspirations of his own MLAs.

According to News18, the JD(S) on Sunday termed it an “emotional outburst” and said too much should not be read into it as there are no strains between the parties. Party secretary-general and spokesperson Danish Ali assured that the coalition government would complete its full tenure. “There are no strains between the Congress and the JD(S) and the coalition government in Karnataka is stable and will complete its five-year term under a common minimum programme for the welfare of the people in the state, including farmers, Dalits and other oppressed classes.”

The Congress and the JD(S) had bitterly fought against each other for the 12 May Assembly polls but joined hands to form the government as the election threw up a hung verdict.

Kumaraswamy said that ahead of the state polls, he had asked the people to make him the chief minister to bring in a pro-people government that would solve the issues of the farmers, the poor and the needy, "but they did not show their trust in me".

The chief minister has been on a rocky road since assuming charge on 23 May as the head of the coalition government, confronting wrangling over portfolio allocation and presentation of the budget. Presenting his government's first budget on 5 July, Kumaraswamy, who also holds the finance portfolio, unveiled a Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver and subsequently announced an additional crop loan waiver of Rs 10,700 crore from cooperative banks.

However, his budget came under attack from within the coalition with few senior Congress MLAs, including former minister HK Patil, writing to him, demanding programmes for the minority community and also the northern region of the state. Recently, former chief minister Siddaramaiah, who is also the head of the Congress-JD(S) coordination committee, in a letter to Kumaraswamy, had pressed for withdrawing the decision on petrol and diesel price hike and reduction in the supply of rice under the Anna Bhagya scheme, announced in the budget.

JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda on Sunday stated that will not have a pre-poll alliance with the Congress for any elections except for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. This was in response to the allegations that the JD(S)- Congress government was neglecting Bombay Karnataka and Hyderabad Karnataka, according to The Hindu.

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Jul 16, 2018 18:31 PM

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