Bengaluru, July 9: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday sought time to address various issues while asserting that the Congress-JD(S) coalition government wants to provide a good governance. The Chief Minister said, “Under strange circumstances, this government has been formed… I want time… I can’t do jaadu (magic) to change things immediately.”
The various issues, Kumaraswamy was talking about include irrigation projects and illegal sand mining, among others. These issues were raised by MLAs during the discussion, on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address.
“The coalition government will survive and work efficiently,” the Chief Minister asserted. Kumaraswamy said his was a majority coalition government and not just of 37 JD(S) MLAs as projected by the BJP. Kumaraswamy said the government has started working to help every section of society with humanness. On the opposition BJP terming the alliance as ‘unholy’ and a betrayal of the people, he said their fears that polls would be held immediately again was unfounded.
The dissuasion also saw a verbal spat between him and leader of the opposition B S Yeddyurappa, who flayed the tie-up between Congress and JD(S), which came together to form the government after the May 12 polls threw up a hung assembly.
Kumaraswamy retorted that when the JD(S)-BJP coalition government was in power in 2006, despite being the bigger party, BJP had supported him as Chief Minister. “Wasn’t it murder of democracy then?” he asked. Kumaraswamy said it was with the blessings of God and the cooperation of Congress leaders that he became Chief Minister.
“No one would have bet that I could become Chief Minister… even I did not….because of the situation that arose, certain decisions were made and I took charge, so I called myself a child of circumstances,” he added.
He said predictions were being made about the downfall of his government when it has completed just 45 days in office and reminded the opposition that “power is not permanent, what one achieves while in power is important”.
Replying to criticism for not announcing farm loan waiver within 24 hours after coming to power, as promised, he said he had assured he would do it on coming to power ‘independently’. However, he noted that he was running a coalition government and had certain limitations.
“….also people had rejected my manifesto in the polls by not giving JD(S) a majority. But I have still taken steps towards farm loan waiver,” he said. In a major succour to the distress-hit farm sector, he had announced a Rs 34,000 crore farm loan scheme in the maiden budget of the Congress-JDS coalition government on July 5.
Kumaraswamy asserted that he was chief minister of 6.5 crore people of Karnataka and alleged that false information was being spread that only certain regions were given priority in the budget.
During his reply, Kumaraswamy also took a jibe at Yeddyurappa and BJP, pointing at their conduct during 2006 coalition government to which the leader of the opposition hit back, resulting in heated exchanges between both of them.
Yeddyurappa, who termed Kumaraswamy as ‘acting Chief Minister’, accused him of betrayal by not handing over power to BJP as per a power sharing agreement between the parties then. He alleged Kumaraswamy had not only betrayed him but also ‘backstabbed’ former Chief Minister Dharm Singh by withdrawing support from his Congress-JD(S) government, leading to its collapse. “In that pain, Singh died,” he charged.
(With PTI inputs)