In what yet again exposes the vulnerability of the Congress-JD (S) coalition in Karnataka, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy broke down into tears at a public event expressing deep discontentment towards his coalition with the Congress. A teary-eyed HD Kumaraswamy stated that, “All of you are happy because your elder or younger brother has become the chief minister. But I am not happy. I am swallowing my own pain like poison, like Vishakantha (Lord Shiva, who drank poison to save the world).’’ HD Kumaraswamy therefore likened coalition with the Congress to poison. Trying to strike an emotional note at the gathering of party workers, the Karnataka chief minister further stated that what he sought from the people was to be in a position to solve their problems and finish the unfinished agenda of his father. However, he agreed that was not taken into confidence by the electorate.
#WATCH: Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy breaks down at an event in Bengaluru; says 'You are standing with bouquets to wish me, as one of your brother became CM & you all are happy, but I'm not. I know the pain of coalition govt. I became Vishkanth&swallowed pain of this govt' (14.07) pic.twitter.com/cQ8f90KkFT
— ANI (@ANI) July 15, 2018
Ever since, the unholy Congress-JD (S) coalition came to power, there have been tussles on fundamental political issues. While the Congress has sent 80 MLAs to the Karnataka assembly, JD (S) boasts of merely 37 members. Therefore, the INC has been trying to strong-arm Kumaraswamy ultimately leading to this public expression of disapproval. While presenting his budget earlier this month, Kumaraswamy had come under heavy pressure from the INC to preserve programmes announced by the former chief minister Siddaramaiah and give less importance to JD (S)’s poll promises. Kumaraswamy had to fight hard in order to fulfill his poll promise of a farm-loan waiver in face of stiff resistance coming from the Congress. However, he was compelled by the Congress to take back another big ticket promise of monthly pension of Rs. 6,000/- to the elderly and allowance of Rs. 6,000/- for pregnant women in Karnataka. After the decision by the Karnataka government to hike sales tax on fuel, Siddaramaiah had launched a scathing attack on the Kumaraswamy government. This seems to have irked the present chief minister. It seems that initially Kumaraswamy was tolerating Congress’ antics and had even expressed gratitude to the Congress for making him the chief minister but he had some self-respect after all. Unwarranted interference by the Congress has led to an unmanageable rift in the alliance and that is now out in the open with Kumaraswamy spilling the beans. The Congress meanwhile tried bogging Kumaraswamy down asking him to be happy to be the chief minister. But there were no indications of the Congress trying to go into the root of their disputes with Kumaraswamy clearly showing that the Congress will continue to strong-arm the undeserving chief minister.
BJP has rightly decoded that Kumaraswamy is using dramatic tactics in order to fool the common man. It is clear that the JD (S) has realised that the electorate is not impressed with the unholy Congress-JD (S) coalition. Kumaraswamy also understands that unholy alliances formed against the course of public mandate cannot last long. With his tears, he is trying to send across the message that while he is all for public welfare, it is the Congress which must be blamed for the stalemate. He is trying his best to project himself as a good, honest man before the inevitable split in the unholy and volatile coalition. This might also be a repeat of what happened with the JD (U)- RJ (D) coalition in Bihar. At that time Nitish Kumar had started making anti-coalition remarks and ultimately came back in the NDA fold. The possibility of Kumaraswamy making anti-Congress remarks and ultimately paving his way for an alliance with the BJP cannot be ruled out. It is also possible that BJP president Amit Shah may be in the process of pulling yet another of his strategic masterstrokes.
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