Interview

Congress treated me like a clerk, says Kumaraswamy

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Former CM says he is ready for an open debate with Siddaramaiah on the coalition government

In less than a week after Janata Dal (Secular) national president H.D. Deve Gowda blamed former Chief Minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah for bringing down the JD(S)-Congress coalition government, his son and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Sunday responded to Mr. Siddaramaiah’s recent statements, in an interview with The Hindu on Sunday.

Excerpts:

Mr. Siddaramaiah blamed you for the fall of the coalition government.

The 14 months that I was in power, the Congress treated me like a clerk. How long do you want to be a slave? I have even been humiliated by a Congress legislator, who threw a bunch of papers in my face. I know how the Congress treated me and I’m only keeping quiet. I also know how Mr. Siddaramaiah ran the government. I’m disgusted with politics. Though I feel like going away, I’m here for the sake of lakhs of party workers.

You have been accused of not taking the Congress along with you in the coalition set up.

I have approved works worth ₹19,000 crore in constituencies represented by the Congress legislators. Despite a ₹25,000 crore farm loan waiver, I continued to fund all schemes of the Congress. Twenty-nine senior officers posted by Mr. Siddaramaiah were continued in the same posts. Ministers got the transfers of officers they wanted. However, the Congress leaders worked against us in Mandya and Tumakuru districts.

Mr. Siddaramaiah treated the JD(S) as a bigger enemy than the BJP. I was getting information from my senior party colleagues about his move to unseat me. It was all planned. The Congress leaders worked against us in Mandya and Tumakuru districts.

Was the relationship between you and Mr. Siddaramaiah cold?

Mr. Siddaramaiah treated the JD(S) as a bigger enemy than the BJP. I’m ready for an open discussion with him (on the coalition government). As the Chief Minister, I was getting information from my senior party colleagues about the move by Mr. Siddaramaiah to unseat me. It was all planned.

Why did you not take a recourse?

I had told my father several times that it will be difficult to manage the coalition. I even suggested for a friendly fight with the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls. But because of the Mahagathbandhan, the coalition continued in the polls. We cannot depend on Congress for our politics. It was former Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar and team that allowed the BJP to win elections in Kolar. If there was a JD(S) candidate in Chickballapur, the BJP would not have won.

What happens to your alliance with Congress if bypolls are held?

I’m sure bypolls will not be held and instead mid-term polls will be held. Even if bypolls are held to 17 seats, I see a very good chance of winning at least nine seats. We will not go with the Congress.

Do you think handing over the IMA and phone-tapping cases to the CBI was to scare you?

I’m not scared and will face any challenge. I have not given anything in writing to tap phones. There is no official document. The Intelligence Department continued what was prevalent during B.S. Yediyurappa or Mr. Siddaramaiah’s period. Why have they ordered investigation only for my 14-month tenure?

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 12:37:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/i-was-treated-like-a-clerk-by-congress/article29254481.ece

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