- HD Kumaraswamy was heckled by protestors in Karnataka's Raichur
- He reportedly said he would not help them because they voted for PM Modi
- BJP criticised Mr Kumaraswamy's reaction, calling it desperate
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy seemed to lose his temper with a group of protestors in Raichur district yesterday. Mr Kumaraswamy was heckled and snapped back angrily, appearing to say he would not help them because they voted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in last month's election.
In videos played on local channels, Mr Kumaraswamy, who was traveling to Karegudda as part of his village stay programme, is seen leaning out of a window to interact with people, However, his bus is soon swamped by people shouting and raising slogans, and the Chief Minister can be heard angrily saying, "You voted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi..."
The rest of what Mr Kumaraswamy said is unclear, but local channels reported he said, "Should I respect you? Do you need to be lathi-charged? You voted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and you want me to help you."
The BJP has criticised Mr Kumaraswamy's reaction, describing it as aggressive and desperate.
"Today what our Chief Minister says in Raichur, he very aggressively and desperately told to people Can I call police to lathicharge you? Kumaraswamy lost his temper and was questioning - you voted for Narendra Modi. I will not support you," Ravikumar, BJP Karnataka general secretary said.
"Like that he lost his temper and very angrily he behaved like a common man. It is not good. If you are not interested to continue as CM, better to give resignation and go back to your home," Mr Ravikumar added.
Arvind Limbavali, a BJP legislator, called on the Chief Minister to resign and said he was "fit for nothing".
Look at the arrogance of @hd_kumaraswamy— Arvind Limbavali (@bjparvind) June 26, 2019
If you cannot listen to the plead of people then who in Karnataka asked you to become the CM ?
Kannadigas anyways didn't vote for you nor did they ask you to be the CM.
Do the state a favor by stepping down. You are fit for nothing pic.twitter.com/jUjlfROAYE
The protestors briefly stopped the bus until they were removed by the police. The Chief Minister's office described the incident as a small five-minute episode.
The Chief Minister's village stay programme, which he began back in 2006, allows him to meet and interact with people of the state and listen to their problems.
"My village visit is one popular programme in this state. When I was Chief Minister in 2006 - at that time there was a demand from all over the state to visit those villages. This time, whatever lapses are there during village stay in previous years, we are going to correct it," the Chief Minister said last week at the start of his visits.
The programme has been criticised by the opposition BJP, who claim it is a big drama.
In a message posted on Twitter last week, BJP Karnataka said, "The amount of money spent on @hd_kumaraswamy 's village trip that includes his luxury food, stay, travel, cultural programs & advertisements could have been spent for the development of that village."
Mr Kumaraswamy's party is seen as drawing its strength from the southern parts of the state. In Lok Sabha polls that finished last month, the Janata Dal Secular and its ally, the Congress, were routed in the state - they won just one seat each, both in the south.
The BJP won 25 out of Karnataka's 28 seats.