Former Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy says he will quit politics

HD Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister, Karnataka, BJP, Congress, JDS, Defeat, Coalition
Former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy is contemplating leaving politics. File photo: PTI

Expressing disappointment on losing power, former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Saturday said he is contemplating quitting politics considering the current political situation.

“I became a chief minister accidentally. Today’s politics is not good for people and I plan to quit. I cannot set everything right. I am tired. Let me live in peace. Do not drag my family into this,” Kumaraswamy told reporters.“God gave me the opportunity to be a chief minister twice. I wasn’t there to satisfy anyone. I did good work during my tenure,” he added.

The Janata Dal (Secular) party leader resigned from the chief minister’s post after losing a trust vote in the Assembly on July 23. With dissenting MLAs resigning from their posts, the coalition JD(S)-Congress government headed by Kumaraswamy fell short of a majority in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly.

This is not the first time the former CM has made such a statement. Last year, when the party won just 38 of the 224 seats, Kumaraswamy said he had decided to quit until he got a call from the Congress to ally and form the government. In the 2018 Assembly election, Congress won 78 seats, JD(S) 38 and BJP 105. With Congress allying with JD(S), Kumaraswamy went on to become the chief minister.

Kumaraswamy became the chief minister both times the state faced a hung assembly. Thirteen years ago, he forged an alliance with the BJP to form the government. However, since the power sharing agreement failed, the JD(S) pulled out from the coalition. Later in 2008, BJP came to power and BJP’s Yediyurappa became the chief minister.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy lost to independent candidate and actor Sumalatha Ambareesh. Ever since, the former CM has been sulking and blaming regional media for showcasing his family in bad light.

After the party president H Vishwanath resigned, JD(S) reshuffled its key party post and appointed Nikhil as the party’s youth wing president and elected Sakleshpur MLA HK Kumaraswamy as the party president.

Speaking to The Federal, party president HK Kumaraswamy said that no communication was made to the party about him resigning. Perhaps he said it in anger, he added.

“Deve Gowda is aged. Who else will lead the party if not HDK? His service is very much required for the party as well as for the state politics. So he will continue,” HK Kumaraswamy said.