Tough in taking decisions, but emotional at times too: CM

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday said that his emotional speech at a Janata Dal (Secular) programme, where he described his position as “swallowing pain like Lord Shiva who drank poison”, was not aimed at the Congress.

“I didn’t speak about the Congress or any Congress leader. I didn’t mention anything about the Congress in my speech. That was a party programme, I got emotional and the media misinterpreted my speech,” Mr. Kumaraswamy told reporters while on a two-day visit to New Delhi.

He asserted that he was emotional at times, but tough in taking decisions. “Party workers are my family members. While sharing my struggles I turned a bit emotional. There is no need to colour that,” he said. A tearful Mr. Kumaraswamy said at the party meet on Saturday that he was “not happy” as Karnataka Chief Minister and was swallowing pain like Lord Shiva who drank poison, but the JD(S) later said that all was well and the coalition government would last its full term.

The opposition BJP had been having a field day with Mr. Kumaraswamy’s remarks and Union Minister Arun Jaitley compared it to dialogues from the “tragedy king” era of Indian films.

Mr. Kumaraswamy met Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari for specific projects related to the State. He has more ministerial-level meetings lined up for Wednesday.

Meanwhile, speaking at Kalaburagi, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Krishna Byre Gowda said that the Chief Minister’s tears were not caused by the Congress’ non-cooperation in the coalition government.

“Mr. Kumaraswamy is also a human being and he publicly broke down in an emotionally-charged party activists’ conference. He is not sitting idle weeping helplessly, but working hard for the development of the State,” he said in defence of the Chief Minister.

Taking on the Opposition for “irresponsibly attacking” the ruling coalition government, the Minister said, “They seem to think that irresponsibly attacking the government is their duty.”

When asked about senior Congressman K.B. Koliwad, who alleged that some of his own party leaders were “tormenting” the Chief Minister, Mr. Gowda said that it might be the personal opinion of Mr. Koliwad and did not have any bearing on the Congress.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Tuesday asked its spokespersons to defend Mr. Kumaraswamy.

Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao held a meeting with party spokespersons here and asked them to defend the coalition government whenever they participate in television debates or give statements to the media.

The incident of chief minister crying in public was cited as an example in the meeting, said sources.

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