Bengaluru: In a sarcastic remark, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday offered to extend the support of all the 19 JD(S) MLAs if Congress leader D K Shivakumar wishes to become the Karnataka Chief Minister. The JD(S) state president wondered why the grand old party needed to bring JD(S) MLAs into its fold when it already had 136 MLAs in the 224-member assembly.
Shivakumar, who is deputy chief minister and also Congress state president, is considered to be a contender for the chief ministerial position. Kumaraswamy's reaction came amid Congress claims that many of his party's MLAs were willing to join the grand old party. "Why should I be an impediment? Let us do one thing. Let him (DCM D K Shivakumar) be the Chief Minister tomorrow morning. I will get the support of all 19 people (JD(S) MLA)," Kumaraswamy said in a press conference.
The former chief minister said, "Why should they (Congress leaders) unnecessarily say, 10 people are coming, five people are coming', They (JD-S MLAs) are ready' and discussions (with JD(S) MLAs) have already taken place under the leadership of (former minister) Krishnappa'. Didn't they say such things before the Media?"
He claimed that the Congress leaders were standing in front of JD(S) MLAs with applications' asking them to join Congress. According to Kumaraswamy, Congress leaders had contacted JD(S) MLA G T Deve Gowda with an offer to make him minister and "do something for his son too". He also claimed that JD(S) Devadurga MLA Karemma and others too received a similar offer from Congress.
"You (Congress Karnataka unit) are 136 (MLAs). What will you do by asking us to join your party when you don't have money for your own MLAs to carry out development work? the JD(S) leader sought to know. Kumaraswamy, however, exuded confidence in his own MLAs, saying that none was ready to join the Congress. The JD(S) second-in-command claimed that there was a TCM and a DCM in the state.
"TCM means Temporary Chief Minister and DCM means Duplicate Chief Minister. Already many claimants to the CM post have emerged in the recent past. We don't know how many chief ministers we will see in the next five years if this government survives for such a long period," the former CM said.
Reacting to JD(S) leader's comment, Shivakumar said Kumaraswamy's party is now a partner with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), whereas Congress has no connection with NDA. "Let him (Kumaraswamy) come out of NDA and then talk. Presently, we have 136 seats and we have the blessings of the people of the state. Let him be a good opposition leader and rectify the mistakes of the government wherever needed. He should not pass remarks but help the government improve," the Deputy CM said.
Shivakumar also asked Kumaraswamy to use his vast' experience as being former chief minister and son of former Prime Minister H D Devegowda to guide the Congress government. (PTI)