Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy today took a break from the ongoing political conflict in the state to watch the trailer of a more entertaining one in the comfort of his home. Providing the welcome distraction was "Kurukshetra", a movie based on the Mahabharata, with son Nikhil Gowda playing the role of legendary warrior Abhimanyu.
The script for the Kannada period drama comes from the poem "Gadayuddha", written by litterateur Ranna. The film, slated to release at the end of this year, is produced by Congress lawmaker Muniratna Naidu and directed by veteran filmmaker Naganna.
Mr Kumaraswamy seemed pleased by the way the movie looked. "Kannada cinema has never before seen a movie of this scale, where every minute detail has been taken care of," he said.
The Chief Minister watched his son's performance on a day marked by high political activity, with two independent lawmakers -- H Nagesh and R Shankar -- withdrawing support from the coalition government. "Today is Makar Sankranti. On this day we want a change in government... so I am withdrawing my support," said Mr Shankar.
The defection brought the ruling alliance's numbers down from 120 to 118, still five short of the halfway mark of 113, but gave rise to fears of others jumping ship in the coming days. Nevertheless, Mr Kumaraswamy claimed that his government will survive.
"There is no threat, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to explain why the BJP and its friends are trying to destabilise a government. Modi criticises corruption and says he wants to clean up society. Is this how he wishes to clean society? By poaching MLAs?" Mr Kumaraswamy questioned.
Incidentally, the BJP and Congress had both been trading allegations of horse-trading for the last two days. While the Congress said four of its lawmakers had gone "missing", the BJP shifted its members to a Gurgaon resort on Monday.
(With inputs from PTI)