Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Saturday said he was “not happy about being the chief minister” and that the post was “not a bed of roses”.
“I have swallowed poison like Lord Vishakantha,” Kumaraswamy said at an event organised to felicitate him in Bengaluru. “You all are happy that I became the CM [chief minister]. But I’m not,” he told party workers.
The Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) forged a post-poll alliance to form the government in Karnataka. Janata Dal (Secular) Karnataka chief HD Kumaraswamy took oath as the chief minister on May 23. Following the Assembly election in mid-May, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s BS Yeddyurappa was initially sworn in as the chief minister but resigned two days later as his party, despite being the largest, did not have the numbers to prove its majority.
“The CM’s post is not a bed of roses, it’s a bed of thorns,” he said, adding that he has to work with coalition partner Congress, fend off opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and satisfy the aspirations of his own party, Janata Dal (Secular). “If the pressure gets to me, I’ll have no hesitation in resigning in less than a couple of hours. I’m not after power. I was only interested in becoming [chief minister] to save our farmers from debt trap,” he said, according to Deccan Chronicle.
Kumaraswamy said he is often greeted by people who thank him for the farm loan waiver. “What makes me sad is that they did not vote for my party to be able to form a majority,” The News Minute quoted him as saying. “No state had the will to waive farm loans. There was so much opposition in the government but I kept my promise.”
Kumaraswamy had announced a Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver for farmers, capped at Rs 2 lakh, while presenting the first budget of the newly-formed coalition government of the JD(S) and the Congress on July 5. On Friday, he announced an additional farm loan waiver of Rs 10,700 crore after coming under pressure from farmers’ associations.
Kumaraswamy also questioned why he was being repeatedly targeted for increasing the tax on fuel. “Petrol, diesel prices have been on the rise under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government,” Bangalore Mirror quoted the chief minister as saying. “But nobody is questioning him on the increasing fuel prices despite a drop in crude oil cost.”
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had criticised the government’s budgetary proposal to raise taxes on petrol and diesel for the farm loan waiver.
JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda defended his son’s proposal to raise fuel prices and said, “People should understand why fuel tax is increased.”