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Don’t worry, govt won’t fall: Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy tells critics

Karnataka CM claimed that he knew how to take care of the legislators in his party and keep them happy, and mocked reports suggesting that some of them were ready to jump ship and bring down the coalition government.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2018 20:20 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Karnataka,HD Kumaraswamy,Janata Dal (S)
Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy speaks during a press conference, in Bengaluru on June 19.(PTI File Photo)

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said on Saturday that he was aware of moves to destabilise the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government but the people of the state would safeguard him because it was not the length of the tenure that mattered, but the work that it did.

Kumaraswamy’s remarks came a day after his predecessor and Congress leader Siddaramaiah said in Hassan that he harboured ambitions of becoming chief minister of the state once again in the future.

“With the blessings of senior people I have been given an opportunity to serve the people once again,” Kumaraswamy said at a function in Bengaluru on Saturday. “God decided how many days I would be chief minister the day I took charge,” he said.

“Media friends informed me that a new chief minister was waiting to take oath on September 3. I am not worried about that. I am not thinking about how many days I have to hold on to the chief minister’s seat and don’t have to waste time thinking about safeguarding it. It isn’t important how long I am chief minister, I feel the work I do will safeguard my future,” Kumaraswamy said.

He claimed that he knew how to take care of the legislators in his party and keep them happy, and mocked reports suggesting that some of them were ready to jump ship and bring down the coalition government, three months after it was sworn in.

“If some people think they can destabilise me… the way I take legislators along and run the government… I know how to run the government. For 12 years I have worked for this. It isn’t just that I want to ensure the stability of this government, but also work for the poor.”

“This government won’t fall, don’t worry, not for any reason, because I know the strength of this government. I know these [reports] are fed to the media. Somebody keeps feeding rumours here and there that some legislators have taken money to defect and that by September 3 there will be a new government. But I leave it to your judgment, which September 3 it is,” the chief minister said.

Since its formation three months ago, the coalition government has had a rocky ride with constant reports of discontent among MLAs of both the Congress and JD(S) threatening to join the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

In this backdrop, Siddaramaiah’s statement on Friday in Hassan that he would like to become the chief minister once again in the future was taken as a hint that the senior leader was unwilling to sit on the sidelines.

Siddaramaiah, however, clarified on Saturday that he had said the Congress would come back to power in the future and that there was nothing wrong in what he said. “I said we would win the next election and come to power. What is wrong with saying that?”

Asked when that would be, Siddaramaiah said it would be after the five-year term. “If people ask me, should I tell them that our party will not win? Some people had made some demands and I told them that to fulfill those demands we would have to be re-elected,” he said.

First Published: Aug 25, 2018 20:19 IST