We're managing government, not running it: Karnataka minister’s remark triggers row
Bengaluru, Aug 16: A Karnataka minister's alleged remarks - "we aren't running the government, we are somehow managing it" has caused embarrassment to the Basavaraj Bommai government.
"We are not running the government, we are just managing it," Karnataka Law Minister JC Madhuswamy is heard saying in the audio clip.
The comments come amid speculation that Bommai will be replaced by the BJP ahead of the assembly elections next year.
However, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday tried to do damage control by stating that the comments were made in a "different context".
He also said that he will talk to other Ministers, who are upset about the remarks made by the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy, and have openly expressed their displeasure against him.
"He (Madhuswamy) had said in a different context. I will talk to him. The context was different, so there is no need to take it in a wrong sense. He had spoken specifically with respect to some cooperative related issue. Things are fine, there is no problem," Bommai told reporters here.
When told that several of his cabinet colleagues are upset and are criticising Madhuswamy, he said, "I will talk to all of them....."
A purported phone conversation between Madhuswamy and Bhaskar, a Channapatna-based social worker, had gone viral on Saturday.
"We are not running a government here, we are just managing, pulling through for the next 7-8 months," Madhuswamy can be heard telling Bhaskar in response to his complaints against a cooperative bank, with respect to some farmers' issues.
In the purported phone conversation, while responding to the social worker's complaint, the Minister can be heard even expressing "helplessness" over Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar's "inaction".
"I know these issues. I've brought this to the notice of Somashekhar. He is not taking action. What to do?" Madhuswamy can be heard saying.
Somashekar has hit out at Madhuswamy over his comments, saying, "He (Madhuswamy) feels that he is the only intelligent person, he has to remove it from his head first." Minister Munirathna has said, Madhuswamy should resign from the Ministry immediately, before making such a statement.
"He is part of the government and is participating in every matter at the cabinet, so he also has a share in it... being in a responsible position and making such statements is not right, it is not befitting to his seniority," he said.