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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Didn’t mean to disrespect people: Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy on ‘Congress mercy’ remark

In New Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy also urged people on Monday not to fall prey to what he termed the “BJP’s conspiracy”.

india Updated: May 29, 2018 12:00 IST
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy after paying floral tributes at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial in Rajghat, New Delhi, on Monday.
Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy after paying floral tributes at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial in Rajghat, New Delhi, on Monday.(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said on Monday he did not mean to show disrespect to the people when he said that he was at the “mercy” of the Congress and not voters of the southern state.

BJP leaders have criticised Kumaraswamy’s remark, saying he was “deriding his own people” and doubting his credentials to serve them.

“I am the chief minister who has the responsibility to six-and-half crore people of the state. My remark that I am at the mercy of the Congress party meant that I am chief minister as long as their support is with me, and to run any programme I will need their support...,” he said in New Delhi, seeking to clarify his remarks.

Kumaraswamy said on Sunday he was at the ‘mercy’ of Congress and not the 6.5 crore people of the state as his government had not received the full mandate which his party had sought in the assembly elections.

The JD(S) leader, who was sworn in last week after the Congress extended support to his party, said he was committed to waiving farm loans or else he would retire from politics, asserting he was ready with the guidelines on a waiver scheme.

He urged people not to fall prey to what he termed “BJP’s conspiracy”.

“In a coalition government, I never said it won’t be possible to waive farm loan. What I had said was that in a coalition government, whatever decisions have to be taken would be in consultation and with permission from coalition partner Congress.

Union minister DV Sadananda Gowda took to Twitter asking Kumaraswamy if he would compromise the interests of Kannadigas just to retain power. The BJP in Karnataka tweeted, “One can only imagine the kind of loot he will preside to impress his Congress bosses.”

BJP’s IT cell chief Amit Malviya termed the chief minster’s remarks “the most brazen admission ever” and expressed apprehensions that Karnataka “will bleed” under the present state government “while JDS-Congress fill up their coffers”.

In Delhi, Kumaraswamy met top Congress leaders before his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On the ongoing discussions with Congress leaders over portfolio allocation in Delhi, he said, “Without having any confusion, we are taking care that nothing hampers the stability of this government. On the issue of cabinet expansion and portfolio allocation, we are taking every one into confidence.”

First Published: May 29, 2018 11:37 IST