Will Rahul, Kumaraswamy’s ‘bond’ help Karnataka’s Congress-JD(S) govt to cross all hurdles?
Bengaluru, July 18: Whenever they have met, both Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy looked happy in each other's company.
They have been cordial to each other and both the leaders have always said good things about each other. While there is no "friendship" (in traditional terms) between them, but definitely they share a "bond" of respect and understanding with each other, considering they are running a coalition government together in Karnataka.
The "brotherly love" between the Gandhi and the Gowda scions does not reflect in Kumaraswamy's equation with Congress leaders from Karnataka, especially former CM Siddaramaiah.
The infighting within the Congress and the tussle between the ruling alliance partners --the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S))--since the coalition government came to power in Karnataka have definitely taken a toll on Kumaraswamy.
Be it Kumaraswamy's recent public outburst where he cried and said he was "unhappy being the CM" or his earlier remarks that he was at "the mercy of the Congress", the public display of agony by Kumaraswamy is a telling sign of troubles within the coalition government.
Days after Kumaraswamy sobbed at a public event in Bengaluru, the CM during his visit to the national capital on Tuesday told the media that there was "no rift" between the JD(S) and the Congress.
Kumaraswamy also praised Rahul, calling the Congress chief "an innocent politician" during an interview with NDTV. The CM said Rahul had given him free hand in running the Karnataka government.
"I personally thank Rahul Gandhi. He has given me complete free hand in running the government. According to me, all Congress leaders are supporting me. MLAs and leaders are happy with me. I am also happy with them... the government is running smoothly. We are taking a lot of decisions," Kumaraswamy told NDTV.
Rather, Kumaraswamy was unhappy about the media because of its continuous attack against him and his new government.
"I have been seeing for the last 55 days, from the time I became the chief minister, the electronic media have made news as they want and have placed it before people. Who will benefit out of it? Why are you doing it? Is there a need?"
An emotional Kumaraswamy on Saturday had told JD(S) workers at a meeting in Bengaluru that he was "not happy" being in the top post and was swallowing the pain like "Vishakantha"(Lord Shiva), who drank poison.
"From Hit&Run Kumaranna to U turn to now Kanneera (tearful) Swamy, his political career has revolved around false promises, family welfare & drama," Karnataka BJP said in a tweet.
It said: "If he is so helpless & incapable of taking decisions as CM, he should resign from the CM seat prioritising his self-respect at the first place."
Reacting to the BJP's tweets, the JD(S) reminded it about its leaders getting emotional, with photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP patriarch LK Advani, state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
"Let's remind the leaders @BJP4Karnataka who are suffering from short term memory loss that there are other "great leaders" cried in the past too," JD(S) said in a tweet. "We believe that crying is a form of expressing human emotions, we @JanataDal_S respect & value human emotions," it added.
Seeking to put an end to the controversy on the issue, senior Congress leader and minister DK Shivakumar termed Kumaraswamy an "emotional person". "People have said what they had to, so leave it there. Let's give an opportunity to the chief minister to work. There is no meaning in embarrassing (anyone) by making it an issue," he said.
"We have seen him reacting emotionally to certain situations in the past and naturally according to his behaviour while speaking to his party workers he has got emotional." "There is nothing to interpret in a wrong way...if chief minister is happy, the state will be happy," Shivakumar, who is considered to be Kumaraswamy's bete noire, told reporters.
However, a couple of Congress leaders admitted that there are several problems between the Congress and the JD(S) but they are confident of resolving all for the greater interest of a secular India and complete the five-year term in Karnataka.