- HD Kumaraswamy said he was happy to have got a chance to serve people.
- His government lost the trust vote in the Karnataka assembly on Tuesday.
- The outgoing Chief Minister said he was now free to work for his party.
Outgoing Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy may have lost the trust vote in the Karnataka assembly after a string of resignations in the ruling coalition, but he claims to be the "happiest person" around. The reason for this, he says, is the opportunity he was given to serve the people of his state for over a year.
"I am the happiest person on this occasion. That's because of how much I worked in the last 14 months to uplift this state. I worked sincerely despite several kinds of disturbances, and today, I am the happiest person while vacating my office," he told NDTV.
Weeks after 16 legislators quit the Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition and two independents changed sides in favour of the opposition BJP, the HD Kumaraswamy government collapsed on the floor of the Karnataka assembly on Tuesday. It managed to cobble up just 99 votes to the opposition party's 105 during the trust vote, paving the way for state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa to become the Chief Minister again.
Even ahead of the trust vote, Mr Kumaraswamy repeatedly said that he doesn't want to hold on to the Chief Minister's position if the Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition lacks the numbers to hold its own in the state assembly. And now, with the BJP emerging victorious, he has dismissed reports that the coalition was trying to bring the rebel legislators back into the fold.
"I am not interested in them anymore. Taking a call on the Congress-JDS coalition is left to our leaders. My responsibility is towards my party now. Now that I am a free person, I will work towards developing it," he said.
However, Congress leader Siddaramaiah had earlier announced that "those who fell for Operation Kamala (the rebel legislators) will never be re-inducted" into the party. Mr Kumaraswamy also made it clear that "betrayal will not be entertained".
Mr Yeddyurappa has said that he will take over as Chief Minister only after receiving the blessings of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh (RSS), the party's ideological mentor. As the state's tallest BJP leader and three-time Chief Minister, he is expected to get the top job despite crossing his party's age bar.
"I came here to take the blessings of senior leaders of the Sangh Parivar. I'm waiting for instructions from Delhi, at any point of time we will call for Legislature Party and then head to the Raj Bhavan," Mr Yeddyurappa told reporters outside the RSS office in Bengaluru.