Kumaraswamy’s ‘mercy’ remarks stir up a storm

New Delhi: A day after sparking a storm over his remarks that he was at the mercy of the Congress, JD-S leader and Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday said his ruling ally had numbers that made its voice stronger in the coalition government.

“What mercy? They supported my party. I have to work according to their direction. That is my responsibility,” the Chief Minister told reporters here.

He was replying to a question related to his Sunday remarks that said he was at the “mercy” of the Congress and not the 6.5 crore people of Karnataka because his government had not received the full mandate which his party had sought in the May 12 elections.

Kumaraswamy was in Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other union ministers to seek financial assistance for farm loan waiver — a “priority” for his government.

Before leaving Karnataka Bhavan in Delhi to meet Modi, a visibly angry Chief Minister told the media that he was of course “at the mercy of the Congress because of their strength. I have become the Chief Minister because of them. I have also the responsibility to protect the interests of Karnataka state.”

The BJP on Monday termed as “absolutely demeaning” Kumaraswamy’s remarks that he was at the mercy of Congress and not of the state’s 6.5 crore people, saying he had become “chief manager of the Congress’ ATM machine” in the state.

Talking to media persons here, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said Kumaraswamy’s remarks were akin to abusing democracy.

“This is absolutely demeaning to the democratic fabric of the country. This is the fallout when you play with the mandate of the people for your petty political reasons. The kind of statement that Kumaraswamy has made is completely against from the essential tenets of the democracy,” he said.

He said BJP chief Amit Shah had already expressed apprehension that the way “people’s mandate has been ignored” in Karnataka, the state government would be run from 10 Janpath — the address of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Noting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a rally at Baghpat on Sunday, had said governments should be run through “janmat (people’s mandate)” and “not from Janpath”, he said that this message should reach Kumaraswamy and the Congress.

“Today, Congress is celebrating, JD-S is celebrating, but the people of Karnataka are not celebrating, they are sad,” he claimed.

Patra said Modi and Shah had raised questions over Congress intentions in Karnataka, alleging that the Congress looks at Karnataka “as their ATM machine”.



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