BENGALURU: Amid strains in Congress-JDS ties, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Wednesday again threatened to quit if Congress leaders continued to take potshots at him.
"Yes, I had said I would step down if Congress leaders continue to take potshots at me. If they repeatedly make such statements, how many more days can I tolerate such stuff. Power is ephemeral.
What is permanent is you (party workers) and six-and-a-half crore people of this state," he said addressing the National JDS Convention here. On January 28, Kumaraswamy had threatened to step down over adverse comments by a Congress MLA, prompting the coalition partner to swing into damage control mode.
Congress general secretary K C Venugopal and incharge of party affairs in the state said the party high command has full faith in Kumaraswamy and the State government.
On Sunday, Congress MLA ST Somashekhar had demanded that Siddaramaiah be made chief minister again. Somashekhar had claimed that development works had come to a grinding halt here and other parts of the state.
Addressing the convention Wednesday, former Prime Minister and JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda also said the Chief Minister has been hurt by some Congress leaders taking potshots at him. He also referred to Siddaramaiah's alleged ambitions to become chief minister in 2006-2007.
"Back then, Siddaramaiah had told me that if I had put pressure on Sonia Gandhi, he would have become chief minister, instead of Kumaraswamy. Siddaramaiah is nursing pain and he should be seeking answer from Sonia Gandhi about it," Gowda said.
Kumaraswamy said amid alleged bid to topple his government, it was becoming difficult for him to direct his officials to address people's problems.
"They (BJP and some Congress leaders) are giving threats of dislodging my government by Shankranthi or Rajyotsava Day, besides during assembly session beginning February 6. Amidst these media leaks, how shall I ask my officials to address people's problems. Just think of the situation I am in? However, I should be grateful to my legislators who have stood behind me," he said.
Kumaraswamy also appealed to farmers not to get carried away with some leaders portraying him as "anti-farmers."
"There is another message being circulated in WhatsApp that I brought down prices affecting milk farmers. During Siddaramaiah's rule, milk farmers were getting Rs 27 per litre, and I brought it down to Rs 20. I request farmers not to get carried away by this. I am continuing as the chief minister because of you," he said.
Kumaraswamy also asked party chief Deve Gowda to prepare the list of appointments to various boards and corporations to avoid any confusion in running a coalition government. In 2006, I committed a mistake by not heeding to my father (Deve Gowda) and was unable to make appointments to boards and corporations.
I do not want to repeat the same mistake while running the present coalition government," he added.