Be Courageous, Congress Tells Kumaraswamy After His Emotional Outburst Over 'Pain of Coalition Govt'
File photo of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
New Delhi: Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday advised Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy to “be courageous” in the face of circumstances emerging from the formation of a coalition government in the state.
Kharge’s remarks came after Kumaraswamy broke down during an event in Bengaluru on Saturday and talked of the “pain of a coalition government”. “You are standing with bouquets to wish me as one of your brothers became the CM. You all are happy, but I’m not. I know the pain of coalition government. I became Vishkanth (reference to Lord Shiva) and swallowed the pain of this government,” he said.
Talking to ANI, Kharge said, “Running a coalition government is always a problem and all one can do is face them. Simply expressing would not give a good message to people who supported secular parties. Kumaraswamy should be courageous to face such circumstances. He has to fulfill the desires of the people.”
Despite rumblings of discontent over portfolio allocation and budget proposals, both the Congress and the JD(S) have maintained that the coalition government would complete the full tenure.
The most recent flashpoint was when former chief minister Siddaramaiah objected to the move to reduce rice entitlement under the Anna Bhagya scheme from 7kg to 5kg.
“For the last one month, nobody knows the jugglery I’ve been doing to convince officials to agree to the (farm) loan waiver. Now, they want 7kg rice instead of 5kg rice under the Anna Bhagya scheme. From where should I get Rs 2,500 crore for this? I’m being criticised for levying taxes…. If I wish, within two hours I can step down from the office,” a report in the Times of India quoted him as saying.
Reacting to the chief minister’s remarks, the JD(S) on Sunday termed it an “emotional outburst” and said too much should not be read into it.
Party secretary general and spokesperson Danish Ali said, “There are no strains between the Congress and the JD(S) and the coalition government in Karnataka is stable and will complete its five-year term under a common minimum programme for the welfare of the people in the state, including farmers, Dalits and other oppressed classes.”
Ali said Kumaraswamy was expecting that the people of Karnataka will give a majority to the JD(S) in the assembly, but the party could not get that kind of mandate despite best efforts.
The party spokesman also accused the BJP of trying to mislead the people and spread rumours about the Kumaraswamy-led coalition. He alleged that the BJP was attempting to weaken the coalition government and bring it down, but said the saffron party would not succeed.
(With inputs from PTI)