Bengaluru: Former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy turned emotional on Wednesday ruing that the people of Mandya deserted him by defeating his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy in the Lok Sabha election this year.
He was campaigning for the JD(S) candidate B L Devaraju who is contesting the December 5 assembly bypolls from the KR Pet constituency.
"The people of Mandya have deserted me. I never wanted my son to contest the election but because of your insistence I fielded him," said Kumaraswamy as he broke down during a public meeting at Kikkeri village in Mandya district. The KR Pet segment became vacant following the disqualification of K C Narayana Gowda of JDS by the then speaker K R Ramesh Kumar.
In July this year, 17 MLAs were disqualified by Kumar based on the complaint of Congress and JD(S) after their absence and resignation from the assembly during the trust vote leading to the collapse of then H D Kumaraswamy-led government.
After the court allowed the disqualified MLAs to contest the polls, the BJP fielded Gowda from the same seat. In a choked voice and wiping his tears repeatedly with his handkerchief, Kumaraswamy said, "I am not crying because of losing power but it is only the expression of the pain I have gone through. What wrong I have done to the people of the state?"
Kumaraswamy's son and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda's grandson Nikhil was defeated from Mandya by actress and popular Kannada film star Ambareeshs widow Sumalatha Ambareesh, who fought as an independent candidate.
Kumaraswamy said he was not worried about his son losing the election but was anguished that the people of Mandya, whom he trusted the most, deserted him.
"The post of chief minister is nothing for me. I need your love and affection and nothing else," said Kumaraswamy before bursting into tears.
The JD(S) leader said he was in the politics only to serve the poor and downtrodden.
Explaining the circumstances in which he was made the chief minister for 14 months, the former chief minister said Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had compelled him to take up the role when the 2018 Assembly elections threw up a hung assembly.
"However, the 14 months tenure was not an easy one. To tell you the truth, I neither worked peacefully from day one, nor had proper sleep," Kumaraswamy told the crowd.