Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy said Saturday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted to “false information” regarding the functioning of the Congress-JDS coalition in Karnataka by referring to news reports that JDS’s Kumaraswamy had complained of being treated like a clerk by the Congress.
Kumaraswamy was reacting to a statement made by Modi at the BJP’s national convention in New Delhi about the dangers of coalition parties coming to power. “In Karnataka, where the first coalition government (in May 2018) was formed, the chief minister there is saying within months of coming to power that he is very worried. He is saying that instead of a chief minister he is being treated like a clerk,’’ the PM said on Saturday with reference to some media reports.
“I am amused to see Hon’ble Prime Minister reacting to a statement which I never made. After farmers loan this is the second time he is reacting to false information/statement. Such statements won’t deter our coalition government from the development agenda,’’ Kumaraswamy said on his official Twitter handle.
There were reports last week in a section of the media that the CM, during an interaction with JDS MLAs, had given the impression of being powerless before an assertive Congress. The reports could not be confirmed through JDS MLAs, although sources in the party said Kumaraswamy may have made the remark during a personal interaction with associates and not on any party platform.
Two months after he became CM, Kumaraswamy had stated at a JDS party forum that he had swallowed a chalice of poison by agreeing to be the coalition CM. “What I sought from people was not to be made CM but to be in a position to solve the problems of the people of the state, to complete the unfinished agenda of my father and solve problems of farmers, workers and labourers of the state without caste and religion barriers,’’ he had said.
The JDS-Congress coalition had a more or less smooth run over the last six months, with the Congress acceding important ministries and positions to the JDS. The Congress has, however, become more assertive in recent days after the party registered election victories in three states.
JDS MLAs have in recent days been upset over being given lesser positions in the government. The JDS is also seeking to strike a seat-sharing deal with the Congress in Karnataka for Parliament polls where the party gets to field candidates in at least 12 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats.