Merely three days after Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy passed a floor test confirming his government's majority, cracks began to show in the Congress-JD(S) alliance even as the BJP intensified its attack over Kumaraswamy's remark that he wasn't at the mercy of the 6.5 crore people of his state, but at the mercy of the Congress party.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Kumaraswamy had accepted that the people of the state hadn't given him an absolute mandate:
"Mine is not an independent government. I had requested the people to give me a mandate that prevents me from succumbing to any pressure other than you. But today I am at the mercy of the Congress. I am not under the pressure of the 6.5 crore people of the state," Kumaraswamy said.
The Karnataka CM was responding to the BJP's call for a state-wide bandh demanding immediate waiver of farm loans. He said:
"I am one step ahead of you to work for the farmers. You need not have to ask me for my resignation over farm loan waiver. If I fail to do that then I myself will resign from the post. Farm loan waiver is my priority. Can't you wait for a week? Even the cabinet has not been formed yet."
The formation of the Karnataka cabinet has stalled on account of the Congress high-command, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, travelling abroad for the former's annual health check-up.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi on Monday, where he has come to meet the Prime Minister and other Union Ministers, Kumaraswamy reiterated that he is at the mercy of the Congress, saying, "I am at mercy of Congress. I am responsible for development of state,that is different. I have to do my job as CM, I have to take permission from Congress leaders, without their permission I can't do anything, they have given me support."
Reacting to this, the Congress' DK Shivakumar, when asked about the CM being at the mercy of the Congress, said, "No. It is a collective responsibility. All are together. We will be together. Whatever promise we've given, we'll fulfill."
The BJP took on both parties, but especially the Congress, with party spokesperson Sambit Patra saying, "This shows the real intention of the Karnataka government. It's an irony that Mr Kumaraswamy says he has nothing to do with the 6.5 crore people of Karnataka. It is only the Congress party he's responsible for."
Patra said that the admission demeaned the 6.5 crore people of the state and attacked the Congress, calling Karnataka the state's ATM Machine and Kumaraswamy, the ATM's manager.