After his emotional speech at a JDS event fuelled speculation about strain in ties with ally Congress, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Tuesday said he had shed tears not out of "helplessness" and asserted that he did not speak anything against the Congress.
Kumaraswamy said there was nothing wrong in being emotional at a party event which was like a "family function" for him and accused the media of hyping the issue. The JDS leader said nowhere during his speech had he said that Congress or its leaders were troubling him.
I'm an emotional person, but it is not my helplessness. Did I shed tears at a government programme? As chief minister I have worked towards implementing programmes strongly," he said.
"I was speaking at my family programme. I have shared my pain with family members. I have not criticised Congress leaders. While talking emotionally, it is natural that tears flow. More than a CM, I am an ordinary person with emotions," he told reporters here.
The chief minister is in Delhi till Thursday morning, during which he will be meeting several Union ministers and will also be chairing a meeting of MPs from Karnataka on issues like Cauvery river water to be raised during Parliament session.
"I spoke for an hour on that day. Nowhere I talked anything about the Congress creating problems. I have told media friends that despite difficulty I have taken the strong step of loan waiver and have implemented programmes, but somewhere I'm not getting encouragement for my good work.
"While speaking about it I got emotional as I felt that people still don't have faith in me (that I will deliver), and not because I was unable to bear any problem created by any party," he said.
He said his "media friends" made it a big issue and created a national debate out of it.
"I have been seeing for the last 55 days, from the time I became chief minister, the electronic media have made news as they want and have placed it before people. Who will benefit out of it? Why are you doing it? Is there a need?" An emotional Kumaraswamy on Saturday had told JDS workers at a meeting in Bengaluru that he was "not happy" being in the top post and was swallowing the pain like 'Vishakantha'(Lord Shiva), who drank poison.
Union minister Arun Jaitley, in a Facebook post, has accused Congress of driving Kumaraswamy to desperation. "Listening to these statements of an Honourable Chief Minister, my memory took me back to the dialogues of the tragedy era of Hindi cinema," he said.
Senior Congress leaders in the state and the centre were also surprised over Kumaraswamy's emotional remarks, which were seen in political circles as a sign of coalition stress and strains.
“While speaking about it I got emotional as I felt that people still don’t have faith in me (that I will deliver), and not because I was unable to bear any problem created by any party,” Kumaraswamy said
Meanwhile, continuing its attack against Kumaraswamy, the BJP on Tuesday asked him to resign if he is "helpless and incapable".
"From Hit&Run Kumaranna to U turn to now Kanneera (tearful) Swamy, his political career has revolved around false promises, family welfare & drama," Karnataka BJP said in a tweet.
It said "If he is so helpless & incapable of taking decisions as CM, he should resign from the CM seat prioritising his self-respect at the first place." Reacting to BJP's tweet, JD(S) reminded it about its leaders getting emotional, with photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP patriarch L K Advani, state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
"Let's remind the leaders @BJP4Karnataka who are suffering from short term memory loss that there are other "great leaders" cried in the past too," JD(S) said in a tweet.
"We believe that crying is a form of expressing human emotions, we @JanataDal_S respect & value human emotions," it added.
Seeking to put an end to the controversy on the issue, senior Congress leader and minister DK Shivakumar termed Kumaraswamy an "emotional person".
"People have said what they had to, so leave it there. Let's give an opportunity to the chief minister to work. There is no meaning in embarrassing (anyone) by making it an issue," he said.
"We have seen him reacting emotionally to certain situations in the past and naturally according to his behaviour while speaking to his party workers he has got emotional." "There is nothing to interpret in a wrong way...if chief minister is happy, the state will be happy," Shivakumar, who is considered to be Kumaraswamy's bete noire, told reporters.
Karnataka PCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao held a meeting with party spokespersons here and asked them to defend the coalition government and partner JDS whenever they give statements to the media, top Congress sources said.
"We were told that whenever a situation like this (chief minister in tears) arises, we must explain to our audience that the chief minister is an emotional person and we all have been sincerely cooperating with him," a party spokesperson said.