Ahead of his visit to the national capital, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has said that he was at the mercy of the Congress party and not the 6.5 crore population of the state. His remark came in reference to the loan waiver that his government has promised to farmers, suggesting that it was the Congress which would be calling the shots as far as crucial decisions such as these were concerned.
Kumaraswamy sought to remind people that the JD(S) didn’t get an absolute majority in the elections. He, however, said that farm loan waiver was his priority and he will resign if he failed to fulfill it.
“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.”
Asked if he will meet leaders of the Congress party in Delhi, to discuss the Cabinet expansion, Kumaraswamy said that it was unlikely as he has to return today itself.
Kumaraswamy will today arrive in the national capital on a day-long visit during which he will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Officials in Bengaluru said that Kumaraswamy will meet Modi at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). This will be both his first visit to Delhi as well as his meeting with the Prime Minister after he took over as the CM of the southern state on May 23. “It is a courtesy call,” an official said.
The CM will first visit Raj Ghat in the afternoon to pay floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. From there, he will drive to the PMO and later will call on Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal. During his meeting with Goyal, Kumaraswamy is likely to seek adequate coal supplies for the thermal stations in the state. Kumaraswamy is also expected to meet other central ministers during his visit here.
The new Congress-JD(S) government under Kumaraswamy’s leadership took oath on May 23 but it is yet to expand the Cabinet. The Congress is a junior partner in the ruling coalition despite having more MLAs than the JD(S). The Congress has 78 MLAs whereas the JD(S)+ has 38. The two forged a post-poll alliance to keep the BJP which has 104 MLAs in 224-member Assembly, out of power.
As per the agreement between the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular), the Congress will have 22 Cabinet posts, including Deputy CM G Parameshwara while the JD(S) will keep 12, including the CM.