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Committed to farm loan waiver, else will retire, says Kumaraswamy

By Deepika

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday said he is committed to waive farm loans or else he will retire from politics.


The JD(S) leader, who was sworn-in as Karnataka chief minister last week after the Congress extended unconditional support to his party, said he is ready with the guidelines on farm loan waiver, details of which will be disclosed on Wednesday.

Kumaraswamy was talking to reporters in the national capital today after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"I have clearly said that I will waive farm loans. I had promised during election that I will do it in 24 hours. That is true. At least you should give time to breathe. Today, I have limitations."

"If I don't do it, have clearly said that I will retire from politics and I will resign as chief minister. Why cannot you wait for some time?," Kumaraswamy told reporters.

"The guidelines to waive farm loans have been kept ready. They will be shared before the public on Wednesday in Bengaluru," he told reporters.

Kumaraswamy also discussed the issue of shortage of coal for the state's thermal power plants. He said he had sought cooperation of the Centre for the development of the state.

Kumaraswamy meets Modi

"I discussed current problems especially shortage of coal for three thermal plants at Raichur, Yaramaras and Bellari in the state. I requested him to ensure sufficient coal supply to these thermal power plants. The current availability of coal in the state is sufficient to operate the plants for 15 days," he told reporters after the meeting.

He said, besides coal, several other matters were also discussed. "The Prime Minister gave suggestions from his political experience as CM and PM on how to run the government," Kumaraswamy said.

"It is customary for the new Chief Minister of any state to call on the Prime Minister, soon after assuming office, in our federal set up," the Chief Minister told reporters on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi left for the latter's medical check-up abroad. The trip has further delayed portfolio allocation in Karnataka on hold as leaders of both parties are yet to strike a deal.

"Will be out of India for a few days, accompanying Sonia ji to her annual medical check up. To my friends in the BJP social media troll army: don't get too worked up...I'll be back soon! (sic)," the Congress president wrote on Twitter before leaving.

The Congress and the JD(S) are at loggerheads over the allocation of key portfolios such as Finance, Home, Public Works Department (PWD) and Power, Irrigation and Urban Development.

The Congress is waiting for the JD(S) to come out with its list of portfolios. Yesterday, JD(S) leader and chief minister HD Kumaraswamy admitted that there were some "issues" over the allocation of portfolios with the coalition partner.

On May 23, Kumaraswamy and G Parameshwara of the Congress took oath and chief minister and deputy chief minister respectively. In addition, it has already been decided that Congress would have 21 ministers and JD(S) 11 in the new council of ministers.

The sources said that the Congress demanded finance as in the previous coalition government in the state in 2004-06 (JDS-Congress) as well as in 2006-08 (JDS-BJP), the portfolio had gone to those who held the deputy chief minister's post.

There is also discussion and demand that the party should induct new faces in the cabinet.

Former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah who was in the national capital held talks with ministerial aspirants here. Yesterday, the Congress president held the first round of discussion on portfolio allocation with senior party leaders of the state, but the meeting remained inconclusive.

Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara, senior leaders Mallikarjuna Kharge and DK Shivakumar as well as state party in charge KC Venugopal were present at the meeting.

OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)

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