Chief Minister of Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy broke down on Saturday at an event organised by his Janata Dal (Secular). While speaking at the function, organised to felicitate him for becoming the chief minister, Kumaraswamy expressed his anguish at the state of the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, which is losing support of the people.
“You are standing with bouquets to wish me, as one of your brothers has become the chief minister, and you all are happy, but I’m not. I know the pain of running a coalition government. I became like Lord Vishkanth and swallowed the pain of this government,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying on Saturday.
Ties between the coalition partners have been strained as the Congress and JD(S) are trying to establishing distinct identities in Karnataka, The Indian Express reported.
“The chief minister’s post is not a bed of roses, it’s a bed of thorns,” he was quoted saying by the Deccan Chronicle. “If the pressure gets to me, I’ll have no hesitation in resigning in less than a couple of hours. I’m not after power. I was only interested in becoming the chief minister to save our farmers from debt trap.”
Explaining his difficulty in running the government, Kumaraswamy said he has to work with its coalition partner Congress, fend off the Opposition BJP and also tend to the aspirations of his own MLAs.
In response to Kumaraswamy’s remarks, Congress leader and Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara was quoted as saying by ANI: “How can he say that? He must definitely be happy. A chief minister always has to be happy. If he’s happy, we’ll all be happy.”
“My craving to become the chief minister was for no other reason but to do good for the people of the state. It was my dream to fulfill my party’s commitment and complete the unfinished agenda of my father HD Deve Gowda,” said Kumaraswamy.
In the Karnataka Budget Kumaraswamy unveiled earlier in July, which the Congress was against, the chief minister announced a farm loan waiver, while continuing with policies proposed by the previous Siddaramaiah-led government. According to The Times of India, Gowda referred to the repayment of Rs 4,000 crore, a liability inherited from the Siddaramaiah government, which has waived farm loans worth Rs 50,000 crore.