Upset over Congress MLA's remarks, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy offers to step down

Bengaluru: Amid strains in Congress-JDS ties, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday threatened to step down over adverse comments by a Congress MLA, prompting the coalition partner to swing into damage control mode.

Congress general secretary K C Venugopal and incharge of party affairs in the state said the party high command has full faith in Kumaraswamy and the state government.

Upset over Congress MLAs remarks, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy offers to step down

File image of HD Kumaraswamy. Twitter@hd_kumaraswamy

Irked over a Congress MLA demanding that Siddaramaiah be made the chief minister again during an event on Sunday, Kumaraswamy said "If my way of functioning is not acceptable, then I am ready to quit. I don't want to continue also. I am not ready to stick to the chair."

The chief minister said the Congress and the JDS have formed the government to give good governance here and "we are doing a good job."

Congress MLA ST Somashekar had claimed during the event that development works had come to a grinding halt in Bengaluru and in other parts of the state.

Reacting to the comments, Kumaraswamy said "Our government has taken up projects worth Rs one lakh crore including suburban train, elevated corridor and peripheral ring road."

He was speaking to reporters after dedicating a six-coach metro rail on 'Green Line' at the Mantri Square Metro Station.

A red-faced Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao, who too was present there, said such statements by the Congress MLAs were not acceptable.

"Today Rs 8,000 crore worth work is happening. I condemn such public statements and will issue a show-cause notice....," Rao told reporters.

"This morning I saw S T Somashekar's statement. It breaches the disciplinary line. The coalition government has done lots of development work in Bengaluru."

The works sanctioned by the previous Siddaramaiah government were also being taken up, he said.

Noting that Somashekar was chairperson of the Bengaluru Development Authority, he said, "His public statement is inappropriate. I condemn it and I will issue a show-cause notice to him."

"If there are any shortcomings in our government, they should discuss straightaway with the chief minister or Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who is in charge minister of Bengaluru... We cannot tolerate indiscipline," he said.

Rao later tweeted that Somashekar expressed regret and apologised to the chief minister for any anguish caused.

However, Rao warned all Congress leaders to be careful in their comments. He said Somashekar has made statements which crosses
the 'Lakshmanrekha' of coalition politics which cannot be tolerated, especially when he is holding a responsible position.

"It's an act of indiscipline and action will be initiated," he said. "The Congress' coalition with the JDS is to take on the communal forces and unseat the anti-democratic forces ruling the country, not to indulge in petty politicking."

Congress general secretary K C Venugopal tweeted, "The government is moving ahead with popular and welfare measures reflecting the ambitions of the people in Karnataka." Earlier, he had said that the party would not tolerate such statements.

"Instructed Karnataka PCC to send a show-cause notice to Somashekar MLA seeking clarification on his controversial remarks.

"If the explanation is not satisfactory, party will take strong disciplinary action.@INCIndia will not tolerate any such indiscipline (sic) statements and actions," he tweeted.

Demanding that Siddaramaiah be made the chief minister, Somashekar had said, "The coalition government is in power for the past seven months but not a single work has taken place. It is Siddaramaiah who set up the Kempegowda Development Authority named after the founder of Bengaluru city."

Rubbishing the MLA's demand, Siddaramaiah said the coalition government is for five years and there was no question of him becoming chief minister.

There is no question of my becoming chief minister again. This government is for five years," Siddaramaiah said.

Taking a potshot at the chief minister, BJP spokesperson Tejaswini Gowda said, "Kumaraswamy must practice what he says.He must step down."

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Updated Date: Jan 28, 2019 18:58:46 IST

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