With a Karnataka minister’s alleged remarks that the “government is not functioning, we are somehow managing”, causing an embarrassment to his administration, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday tried to do damage control by stating that the comments were made in a “different context”.
He also said that he would talk to other ministers, who are upset about the remarks made by the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy and have openly expressed their displeasure against him.
Madhuswamy’s comments have drawn criticism from some ministers, with Horticulture Minister Munirathna even advising him to quit the Ministry.
“He (Madhuswamy) had said in a different context. I will talk to him. The context was different, so there is no need to take it in the wrong sense. He had spoken specifically with respect to some cooperative-related issue. Things are fine, there is no problem,” Bommai told reporters.
When told that several of his cabinet colleagues are upset and are criticising Madhuswamy, he said, “I will talk to all of them”.
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A purported phone conversation between Madhuswamy and Bhaskar, a Channapatna-based social worker, had gone viral on Saturday.
“We are not running a government here, we are just managing, pulling through for the next 7-8 months,” Madhuswamy can be heard telling Bhaskar in response to his complaints against a cooperative bank, with respect to some farmer’s issues.
In the purported phone conversation, while responding to the social workers’ complaint, the Minister can be heard even expressing “helplessness” over Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar’s “inaction”.
“I know these issues. I’ve brought this to the notice of Somashekhar. He is not taking action. What to do?” Madhuswamy can be heard saying.
Somashekar has hit out at Madhuswamy over his comments, saying, “He (Madhuswamy) feels that he is the only intelligent person, he has to remove it from his head first.”
Minister Munirathna has said, Madhuswamy should resign from the Ministry immediately, before making such a statement.
“He is part of the government and is participating in every matter at the cabinet, so he also has a share in it… being in a responsible position and making such statements is not right, it is not befitting to his seniority,” he said.
(With inputs from agencies)