The “Vishakanta” of Karnataka, who had swallowed the “pain of the coalition government”, has said that he was misquoted and his father and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda could be the next PM if an anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition overthrows the Narendra Modi government in 2019 because “anything is possible in this country”.
In a candid interview with India Today TV, CM and Janata Dal (Secular) state unit president HD Kumaraswamy (HDK) denied having any problems with his coalition partner Congress and that he “swallowed the poison of a section of society that is misleading the people of Karnataka”.
At a party event in Bengaluru on Saturday, a tearful Kumaraswamy had said, “You [party members] are standing with bouquets to wish me as one of your brothers became the CM. You all are happy, but I’m not. I know the pain of coalition government. I became Vishkanth (a reference to Lord Shiva) and swallowed the pain of this government.”
However, Kumaraswamy said on Wednesday that “it is not a poison I am swallowing; I am swallowing the poison of one section of society that is not happy with me taking charge as CM. In front of my family-my party workers-I got emotional and broke down”. HDK even said that a “certain section of local electronic media is opposing me”.
“Why are they opposing me for every good work I do for the state? On the BJP jibe that he is a “legendary actor who has constantly fooled common man with his amazing acting skills”, Kumaraswamy said, “I cannot expect more from my BJP friends. Before being CM, I am a human. If you have sentiments, only then you break down. People criticising me for my emotional outburst are not humans.”
The coalition leader also ruled out any differences with the Congress and his predecessor Siddaramaiah, who had slammed him for presenting a new Budget and reducing rice entitlement under the Anna Bhagya scheme. “Congress leaders are completely cooperating with me. This section of society to mislead the people about the Congress’ intentions.”
During the hustings, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had dubbed the JD (S) as “Team B” of the BJP, but now both the par with the Congress and the join the BJP in 2006 against me.” During the campaigning, the two-time CM had said that Modi is a bigger enemy than Congress.
However, now the JD (S) and the Congress are in alliance. “During elections, every party has a different strategy and issues. But at this juncture, it is the need of the ties are in a coalition. Is this an opportunistic alliance? “No, it is not. The country needs it now for the Lok Sabha elections polls. We need another set-up at the Centre; everyone knows how the Modi government has disappointed the people,” HDS said adding, “Rahul was misled by some friends who used my decision to part ways hour,” he said.
Denying any differences with Siddaramaiah, HDK said that “he is not running any campaign against me. In fact, he is advising me on how to run the show. I have no problems with Siddaramaiah. He stressed a supplementary Budget because he had presented a complete one in February and advised us considering his experience. Later, he agreed to it”.
Does he see an anti-BJP alliance and Deve Gowda again playing a role in national politics in 2019? “In this country, anything could happen; it is a democracy. Anyone can become anything,” he said adding that Rahul, former Uttar Pradesh CM Mayawati and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee are all equally good leaders to be the next PM.
Kumaraswamy also ruled out any alliance with the BJP. “No, it will never happen. In 2006, I went against my father’s wishes and his secular credentials were questioned. It was a blot on his career.”