'Rahul should be PM,' says Kumaraswamy amid reports of dissent
Days after he said becoming the Karnataka CM was like "drinking poison," HD Kumaraswamy has asserted it isn't Congress he is unhappy with, but media and the society, which are "consistently working against (his) government."
They will continue taking "advice" from his predecessor Siddaramaiah, who has been writing public letters about the government's functioning, he said.
He added JD(S) favors Rahul Gandhi as the next PM.
Kumaraswamy talks about Congress-JD(S) ties, 2019 polls etc
'There is individual unhappiness, but it won't affect government's longevity'
Talking to HT, Kumaraswamy reposed faith in the Congress, which had promised him a full five-year term.
Dissent of a few sections is "individual unhappiness, not the party's stance," and won't "affect the longevity of this government."
The Congress high command is "controlling" such voices now, he said.
About media criticism, he said, "All I want is a little appreciation for the hard work I do."
'Siddaramaiah can advise me directly instead of going public'
About Siddaramaiah, a new member of the Congress Working Committee, Kumaraswamy asserted he'd take his predecessor's opinions as advice and not opposition.
Despite differences, Siddaramaiah's intention "is to ensure that the coalition government gets a good name for its governance."
But on his "new attitude" of writing and releasing letters publicly, Kumaraswamy said he "can advise me directly instead of going to the public."
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Kumaraswamy on what the Karnataka government has done till now
On the coalition government's performance, Kumaraswamy said their farm-loan waiver could go up to Rs. 42,000cr. "Funds are there," he assured.
It raised prices of electricity and fuel, but marginally, he said: tax on power increased from 6% to 8%, and petrol prices by Re. 1/liter.
He denied it was ignoring North and Coastal Karnataka. "It is our family which has done the most for northern Karnataka."
'Seat-sharing with Congress to be decided with mutual understanding'
On reports that Congress leaders like KC Venugopal and Veerappa Moily had batted for more seats for the Grand Old Party than JD(S) in upcoming elections, Kumaraswamy said seat-sharing "isn't a big issue."
"We'll divide the number of seats with mutual understanding."
"Our intention is to ensure the coalition gets more seats in the polls. We (coalition) will get minimum 20-25 seats from Karnataka."
'Not easy for BJP to return with clear majority'
As for 2019, Kumaraswamy said it "isn't easy for BJP to return with a clear majority."
His "personal opinion" is that opposition parties must unite against BJP "irrespective of personal issues and to save the country."
Dismissing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's claims that Congress-JD(S) is an example of disparate coalition, he claimed "achievements of coalition governments have been marvellous," including Deve Gowda's and Manmohan Singh's.