'Becoming CM was like drinking poison': Kumaraswamy breaks down
Less than two months after taking oath, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy seems to have given up on the party's alliance with Congress. At a JD(S) event, an emotional Kumaraswamy said workers must be happy about their "brother" becoming CM, but "I'm swallowing my pain like Vishakanta (Lord Shiva)." However, Congress leader and Karnataka Deputy CM G Parameshwara dismissed his comments, saying, "CM must always be happy."
JD(S)-Congress announced alliance right before election results
The JD(S) and Congress joined hands this year right before results of the recent assembly elections were declared. Together, they won 117 seats out of 222. The BJP, which won 104 seats, staked claim to form the government and was approved, but its CM BS Yeddyurappa resigned just ahead of a floor test, as chances of him winning looked slimmer and slimmer.
The first major battle was portfolio allocation
After eight days of tussle, Karnataka got its second CM in a week, with JD(S)' Kumaraswamy taking oath. Parameshwara was sworn in as deputy CM. Differences crept in soon after, as it took them another 10 days to successfully reach a power-sharing arrangement. The former agreed to let Kumaraswamy remain CM for the full five years. While Kumaraswamy got Finance, Parameshwara was given Home.
The fight over loan waivers
Portfolio allocation was just one hurdle; it hasn't been smooth sailing for the alliance. Days afterwards, Kumaraswamy admitted there's tension in the alliance, "but I am confident that the Congress leaders will take the right decision." There were differences on farm loan waivers too, which Kumaraswamy had promised before the elections. He is at the Congress's mercy, but if the waivers didn't happen, he'd quit, he asserted.
What caused his latest outburst?
The trigger for Kumaraswamy's latest statements seemed to be the viral "Kumaraswamy is not my CM" statements on social media, which caught on after a Kodagu boy criticized him in a video. Fishermen too lashed out as he hadn't waived their loans.
'Been trying hard for waivers, now people want more benefits'
At an event organized by JD(S) yesterday, Kumaraswamy refused to accept bouquets and garlands, saying, "You are all happy that one of your brothers has become the CM. But I'm not." He has been doing "jugglery" since one month to get the waivers approved, but now "they want 7kg rice instead of 5kg under the Anna Bhagya scheme. From where do I get Rs. 2,500cr for this?"
How can he say that?CM must always be happy: Congress
Kumaraswamy reiterated that he'd step down "within two hours" if the people command. "God has given me this power. He'll decide how many days I should stay." Responding to his comments, Parameshwara said, "How can he say that? He must definitely be happy, CM has to be always happy. If he's happy, we'll all be happy." Will this be BJP's golden opportunity in hiding?