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Congress insisted on making Kumaraswamy Karnataka chief minister: Deve Gowda

Janata Dal (Secular) supremo HD Deve Gowda said he had offered to support a Congress-led government in Karnataka but the latter insisted on HD Kumaraswamy becoming the chief minister.

india Updated: May 29, 2018 00:09 IST
Press Trust of India, Bengaluru
Congress,Kumaraswamy,Deve Gowda
JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda said during his meeting with Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot, he was told the decision to back Kumaraswamy as CM was taken by the Congress high-command.(HT/Arijit Sen)

Janata Dal (Secular) supremo HD Deve Gowda said on Monday that he had offered to support a Congress-led government in Karnataka after the fractured verdict in the assembly polls but the latter insisted on HD Kumaraswamy becoming the chief minister.

Gowda said that during his hour-long discussion with senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot, he was told that the decision to back his son Kumaraswamy for the post of chief minister was taken by the Congress high- command.

“There was a discussion between me and Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot. I told them I have no problem if they form the government. They insisted that Kumaraswamy become the chief minister and it was their high- command’s decision,” the former prime minister told a press conference.

Amid reports of continued differences in the JD(S)-Congress coalition over portfolio allocation and farm loan waiver, which has delayed expansion of the Kumaraswamy ministry, Gowda indicated it would be difficult to keep the promise of relief to farmers.

“How? With 37 JD(S) MLAs, we have to run the government with the support of another party. We will also have to continue with their programmes. Without their support it is difficult,” he said.

“That is why Kumaraswamy said he will tender his resignation if need be. He was under the Congress’ will and not under the will of the 6.5 crore people of Karnataka. He has called himself a child of circumstances,” he said.

Kumaraswamy had promised to write off farm loans totalling Rs 53,000 crore within 24 hours of coming to power, but has now sought time citing coalition compulsions and the need to assess the financial condition of the state.

First Published: May 28, 2018 16:30 IST