I am the people’s CM, my father will not interfere: HD Kumaraswamy

Bengaluru: Haradanahalli Deve Gowda Kumaraswamy or H D Kumaraswamy, the newly sworn in Chief Minister of Karnataka made clear he is the CM and will hold the reins while his father H D Deve Gowda, former prime minister of India, will not micro-manage the administration. 

Talking to The Times of India (TOI), Kumaraswamy said, "My father is the senior-most politician and his experience will definitely be utilised. But I want to make it clear to all that he will not micro-manage the administration. I am the CM and I will hold the reins. With regard to my father’s meeting with the chief secretary and police chiefs, it was a courtesy call by the latter. My father’s advice will be appreciated; I reiterate that he will not interfere. I have lived with the people and I too know their pulse, I am the people’s CM."

When asked how he will handle issues concerning responsiveness and cooperation from the BJP-led Centre, Kumaraswamy said, “Fighting it out at the hustings is different and dealing with the Centre is different. I will not go for a confrontation with the Centre. We will convince them about our requirements and persuade them to act favourably. Karnataka is the second highest revenue generating state in the country and we hope the BJP-led government appreciates the state’s contribution and takes decisions accordingly. The Centre should not show step-motherly treatment to Karnataka because they are not in power here and should not politicise everything.”

Kumaraswamy said that issues like that of Cauvery should be sorted out through persuasion and negotiation with leaders from the neighbouring states. “We cannot fight it depending on the law as emotions of the people are involved. I will start speaking to leaders from the neighbouring states and make all efforts to settle issues amicably.” the newly sworn Karnataka Chief Minister said.

Talking about BJP’s view that the JD(S)-Congress alliance will crumble soon, Kumaraswamy said, “BJP will obviously want us to fail. I had said earlier that I will be the person who will stall Narendra Modi-Amit Shah’s successful march and I have done it. Not just BJP, a lot of people are suspicious about our stability. Well, I know that running the coalition is not an easy task and there are limitations, but I am confident that we will succeed. We will overcome the initial teething problems quickly and work as a family. Moreover, I have learnt from the mistakes of the past, I will not waste time digging into the past and will deliver a stable government.”

Kumarswamy said his priority is to address the issues pertaining to the farming sector. “I will work towards ensuring that farmers do not face any crisis and live up to the confidence they have reposed in me,” he said.

The next on Kumaraswamy’s list is development of infrastructure in Bengaluru. “We need to expedite work instead of dragging it citing trivial issues. We will focus on employment generation, women empowerment, health and education,” the Karnataka Chief Minister added.

Talking about the coming together of several leaders and chief ministers of different states during his oath-taking ceremony, Kumaraswamy said, “This is for the first time in history that such a thing has happened and it signals the beginning of a new chapter in the country.”

Kumaraswamy said that the new government will not discontinue any of the welfare programmes and schemes by the Siddaramaiah government but will improvise the same and start new ones.

Kumaraswamy said that he has been observing that the administration has been vitiated by caste-related politics in the last few years. He said he will start reviewing the performance of different departments and take a call on a bureaucratic reshuffle in a month’s time. “We will give importance to performance while choosing officials,” Kumaraswamy said.

Read the full interview of newly sworn in Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy here.

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