BENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday said he was at the ‘mercy’ of the Congress and not the 6.5 crore people of Karnataka, as his government had not received the full mandate which his party had sought in the assembly elections. Ahead of his Delhi visit to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other union ministers, he reiterated that farm loan waiver was his priority as he had promised and he would resign if he failed to fulfill it.
However, he reminded people that JD(S) did not get an absolute majority, which meant he and his party were rejected by the electorate.
“The people of the state rejected me and our party. I had sought an absolute majority. I have heard the statements of farm leaders too and how much they supported me,” he said
“Mine is not an independent government. I had requested the people to give me a mandate that prevents me from succumbing to any pressure other than you. But today I am at the mercy of the Congress. I am not under the pressure of the 6.5 crore people of the state,” Mr. Kumaraswamy said.
Slamming BJP and other farmers’ leaders, he said there was no need for any farmers’ association to pressurize him (on farm loan waiver).
“I am one step ahead of you to work for the farmers. You need not have to ask me for my resignation over farm loan waiver. If I fail to do that then I myself will resign from the post. Farm loan waiver is my priority. Can’t you wait for a week? Even the cabinet has not been formed yet,” he added.
Mr Kumaraswamy urged farmers not to take the extreme step of committing suicide and to wait for a week as he was in the process of finding a way out to waive loans, not just of cooperative societies, but also of nationalised banks.
His remarks came in the wake of BJP’s call for a state-wide bandh today, demanding immediate waiver of farm loans, as promised by the JD(S) in their manifesto.
BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa had on May 25 announced a state-wide bandh on May 28 if farm loans worth Rs. 53,000 crore were not waived by then.
JD(S) leadership has been saying they have to seek the consent of its coalition partner Congress before taking any decision.
To a question on the Congress demand that the finance portfolio be given to it, he said it was quite natural for them to ask it as some in the party believed they could deliver better.
He brushed aside talk of a tussle between the two coalition partners over distribution of portfolios.