In an oblique reference to some Congress leaders who are said to be grudging him for occupying the top post, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Saturday said he would not keep the post at the cost of his self-esteem.

“If I decide to do so, I can step down within two hours,” said an emotional Mr. Kumaraswamy, who refused to accept felicitation by party workers in Bengaluru on Saturday. He said he did not need felicitation when the people of the State did not take him into confidence and bring the party to power on its own strength.

The Chief Minister said he was upset with the criticism he faced within two months of forming the government. “I don’t waste time and energy to save my chair. I have inherited the legacy of my father H.D. Deve Gowda, who quit the post of Prime Minister,” he said.

Citing fiscal hurdles in increasing the quantity of rice given to BPL card-holders from 5 kg to 7 kg, he said an additional ₹2,500 crore would be needed for the purpose.

Expressing his limitations in implementing the promises made in the run-up to Assembly elections, the CM said: “I don’t know whether farmers are satisfied or not. The BJP is still accusing me of not fulfilling promises on old age pension, allowance for pregnant women, among other things.” Holding party workers responsible for the JD(S) not coming to power on its own, party patriarch Mr. Deve Gowda said they had failed to properly spread awareness about the programmes introduced by Mr. Kumaraswamy during his previous 20-month tenure as Chief Minister.

He said the JD(S) had to work in tandem with the Congress to fight the formidable Opposition that is the BJP, and even though people failed to support the party, Mr. Kumaraswamy would do everything in his powers to fulfil his poll promises.

By R

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