Karnataka Bypolls 2019: Kumaraswamy breaks into tears again; ‘I’ve learnt my lessons’

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Updated: November 27, 2019 5:20:20 PM

Kumaraswamy today made a tearful appeal to people not to vote for rebels who brought down his government. He was referring to 17 legislators (from Congress and JDS) who had crossed over to the BJP. The saffron party has fielded 13 of 15 rebels as its candidate in the bypolls that is scheduled to take place on December 5.

Karnataka Assembly Byelection, Karnataka Assembly bypolls, Karnataka Byelection, Karnataka election, Karnataka bypolls, Kumaraswamy, KumaraswamycryingHD Kumaraswamy today made a tearful appeal to people not to vote for rebels who brought down his government. (PTI)

Karnataka Assembly Byelection 2019: Former Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday broke into tears while campaigning for the by-election in the state where 15 seats are up for grabs. He made a tearful appeal to people not to vote for the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party. The JD(S) leader said that he was betrayed by his own people. “Betrayed by the rebels, I have learned my lessons,” the former chief minister said.

Kumaraswamy was referring to 17 legislators (from Congress and JDS) who brought down the Congress-JD(S) government by crossing over to the BJP. The saffron party has fielded 13 of 15 rebels as its candidate in the bypolls that is scheduled to take place on December 5. It is in this backdrop that Kumaraswamy has appealed to people to defeat the rebels. In total, 17 MLAs had defected but the byelection will happen in 15 constituencies.

Following the defection, then Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar disqualified all 17 rebel MLAs — sixteen of these have joined the BJP. Of the 15 constituencies that are going to polls, 12 were represented by Congress and 3 by JD(S). The BJP needs to win at least 6 of 15 seats to retain the majority in the 224-member Assembly.

In the Assembly election held in 2018, the BJP had emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats, 9 less than the required number of 113 to form the government. The Congress entered into a post-poll alliance with JD(S) and formed a coalition government. The Congress had 80 seats whereas the JD(S) bagged 37.

However, the coalition government was off to a rough start as differences emerged between many factions of Congress and Kumaraswamy. The former chief minister said that Siddaramaiah was interfering with the government and creating dual power centers in the state. At one point, he literally cried at an event and said that he had to swallow the pain of coalition government with the Congress.

Addressing his party workers, Kumarswamy had said that “you are standing with bouquets to wish me as one of your brothers became Chief Minister and you all are happy, but I’m not”. He further said that he knew the pain of the coalition government. “I became Vishkanth (Lord Shiva) and swallowed the pain of this government,” the former CM added.

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