He says `exaggerated' reports of the farmhouse raid harmed his party's chances
`It was a mistake to have stayed at the farmhouse' `T-shirts and umbrellas were for distribution among party workers'
MYSORE: In a veiled attack on the media, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy blamed the "exaggerated and glorified" reporting of the raid by the Election Commission on a farmhouse on the outskirts of Mysore on the eve of the bypoll to the Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency for his party's debacle in the election.
Speaking at a thanksgiving function organised by the Janata Dal (Secular) for voters and party activists at Town Hall here on Sunday, Mr. Kumaraswamy said media reports had influenced voters, particularly in urban areas of the constituency, on the day of polling. "We lost about 3,000 to 4,000 votes," Mr. Kumaraswamy said.
Regretting the "glorified" accounts of the recovery of "election material" from a farmhouse at Bhugathahalli on the outskirts of Mysore, Mr. Kumaraswamy said the party had merely kept umbrellas and t-shirts there that were meant for distribution to party workers. "There were not gift items to entice the voters", he said.
Though he admitted that it was mistake on his part to have stayed at the farmhouse, Mr. Kumaraswamy said he was running a high temperature that day.
The Chief Minister said he found the interpretations in the media about the incident to be in "bad taste". Mr. Kumaraswamy expressed his displeasure over the media reports on the "camping of the entire coalition Ministry" in Chamundeshwari assembly constituency and the "misuse of official machinery".
He wondered why the media did not spot three Union Ministers, who were campaigning in the district for the Congress candidate in the constituency.
However, Mr. Kumaraswamy said he had a lot of respect for the media and would accept its reports with an "open mind".
Mr. Kumaraswamy said that he would reply to Opposition charges on the misuse of official machinery during the campaign for the recently concluded bypoll to the coming session of the State Legislature.
He dared former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was recently elected as Congress MLA from Chamundeshwari constituency, to raise the issues relating to misuse of official machinery on the floor of the Assembly. Dismissing Mr. Siddaramaiah's narrow victory in the election, Mr. Kumaraswamy said his party had registered a "moral" victory in the bypoll.
"Far from being crest-fallen by the outcome of the polls, I have accepted the verdict as a challenge," he said.
Housing Minister D.T. Jayakumar likened the poll result to the proverbial "slip between the cup and the lip" for Janata Dal (S) candidate Shivabasappa.
Mr. Shivabasappa said he saw the poll outcome as a "moral" victory for him in politics.
Chamarajanagar MP Shivanna, Gundlupet MLA A.S. Guruswamy, Hanur MLA Parimala Nagappa and a host of party leaders were present during the occasion.