People think I am opportunist, becoming CM to prove otherwise: Kumaraswamy

Bengaluru: In the run-up to the Karnataka Assembly elections, the Congress had called its post-poll alliance partner Janata Dal Secular leader and Karnataka Chief Ministerial designate H D Kumaraswamy as BJP’s B team. Despite the criticism from Congress, JD(S) went on with the alliance and Kumaraswamy will take oath on Wednesday.

In an interview to The Times of India, Kumaraswamy said, “I'm not at all happy with the circumstances. I had made a lot of promises to the people, and I wish I had become CM with a majority. But the people did not have that kind of faith in me and the party ((JD(S)). I'm aware of the criticism, people think I am an opportunist. I've become the CM to prove otherwise.”

Calling himself “forward-looking” Kumaraswamy said what is pertinent now is to see how to form the government in the state and run it efficiently.

Kumaraswamy said he is not accepting the responsibility of the chief minister because it is an opportunity. He said he will dedicate his life proving his commitment to people. “I know the circumstances under which I am becoming the chief minister, they are the same as in 2006 and I will ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated,” Kumaraswamy said.

Talking to the media at Holenarasipur, Kumaraswamy said, he will provide a stable government for the next five years in Karnataka with the support of the Congress. “I know the task is tough, but I am confident I will be successful,” he said.

Kumaraswamy told Economic Times that he wanted to become king through the mandate of the people. "The first time, in 2006, I became CM due to political developments. Today also, my situation is the same. It is not because of the blessings of the people. Why didn’t the people of Karnataka understand what I feel? Why didn’t they have belief in me? I am feeling terrible about that. I am not a politician, I am an emotional being. I know what people’s troubles are, what their expectations are. If I have to bring in solutions .. people have seen both the BJP and Congress; I thought people will give me a chance. But I JD(S) got lesser seats than last time."

When asked why he insisted on heading the coalition when the Congress numbers were higher than that of JD(S), Kumaraswamy told the daily, “I did not ask for it at all. They (Congress) came forward voluntarily and offered unconditional support to a five-year term headed by me. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad called me and said they had taken a unanimous decision on this. I asked for time, but he said I had to decide immediately. I went to my father (former prime minister H D Deve Gowda) and said these are the two options, and I followed what he decided.”

Congress on alliance with JD(S)

Congress too had to comment on its decision over its alliance with the Janata Dal Secular.

Senior party leader from Karnataka, D K Shivakumar today said the Congress and the JD(S) – had to sort out their differences for the sake of forming a secular government in Karnataka.

Admitting that the Congress and JD(S) were at loggerheads ahead of the assembly elections in the state, Shivakumar told news agency ANI, "In politics, I have been fighting against the Gowdas since 1985. In the last parliamentary election and assembly election against them, I won against his son, I won against his daughter-in-law. A lot of politics have been played. Lots of cases were also registered. But in the interests of the nation and party, we need a secular government in Karnataka."

He added "Rahul Gandhi has taken a decision that there should be a secular government here (Karnaraka). That is what the entire country needs and that is why we have taken this stand (alliance with JD-S). I had to swallow all this bitterness since this is my duty."

When Shivakumar was asked if he was happy on securing an alliance with JD(S), he said, "Sometimes, individuality doesn't count here. Individuality is not important. Whatever collective or major decisions are taken, one man may like or the other man may not like. I also gave consent for the formation of this government."

Asked whether the Congress-JD(S) government would complete five years, Shivakumar further said, "Time will answer. I don't want to answer it right now. We have various issues, options before us, I can't tell right now."

The Congress has bagged 78 seats out of 222 Karnataka Assembly constituencies which went to polls on May 12. JD(S) had won 38 seats.

H D Kumaraswamy will take oath as the chief minister of the state on Wednesday. Several senior Congress leaders and chief ministers of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi are invited for the oath-taking ceremony. Bahuja Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Samajawadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav are also invited.

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