- HD Kumaraswamy said he was "deeply pained at the turn of events"
- He spoke about the visit of Nirmala Sitharaman to flood-hit Kodagu
- He added saying it was "time to forgive each other"
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday tweeted to say he was "deeply pained at the turn of events" during the visit of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in flood-hit Kodagu district and that it was "time to forgive each other". The reference was to the union minister's outburst at the state tourism minister Sa Ra Mahesh and a subsequent rebuttal by his deputy, Congress' G Parameshwara. Ms Sitharaman was visiting the state to survey the ground situation in Kodagu, for which Karnataka has asked for a Rs 2000-crore relief package from the centre.
In the letter tweeted from his official handle on Sunday, Mr Kumaraswamy said his tourism minister has "tirelessly worked to oversee the rescue and relief operations on the ground". Without going into the details, the letter added that "it was unfortunate" the union minister had to "go through certain inconveniences".
On Friday, asked to wrap up a press conference by the state minister, Ms Sitharaman had lashed out at Sa Ra Mahesh, saying: "I am following a minute-to-minute programme, minister. If officials are important, my parivaar (family) is also important.... Central minister follows the minister in-charge here. Unbelievable."
When told the conversation was getting recorded on cameras, Ms Sitharaman, a parliamentarian from Karnataka, snapped, "Let it get recorded."
As the state issued a clarification about the events, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara tweeted his disapproval, hinting that the Central Minister was not the boss.
"Madam @nsitharaman, our ministers have stayed back in Kodagu for weeks to oversee relief operations along with district administration. You should extend to them the same respect that they extend for the help from your end. It was disappointing to see you lash out at my colleague," Mr Parameshwara's tweet read.
A second tweet said, "State Governments derive their powers from our Constitution not from the Centre. The Constitution has distributed powers among the Centre and States to ensure an equitable partnership between both. We are not inferior to the Centre. We are partners @nsitharaman".
In his letter, Mr Kumaraswamy said he has spoken with the union minister on phone. "I believe this is the time for all of us to forget small differences and forgive each other and join hands for the rehabilitation of the flood affected people in Kodagu".
He said he looked forward for continued support from the centre and the minister.