Bengaluru: Former chief minister of Karnataka HD Kumaraswamy turned emotional on Wednesday ruing that the people of Mandya deserted him by defeating his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy in the Lok Sabha election this year.

He was campaigning for JD(S) candidate BL Devaraju who is contesting the December 5 Assembly bypolls from KR Pet constituency.

"I don't need politics, I don't want CM post. I just want your love. I don't know why my son lost. I didn't want him to contest from Mandya but my own people from Mandya wanted him to, but didn't support him. This hurt me," said Kumaraswamy while shedding tears.

“The people of Mandya have deserted me. I never wanted my son to contest the election but because of your insistence I fielded him,” said Kumaraswamy as he broke down during a public meeting at Kikkeri village in Mandya district.

The KR Pet segment became vacant following the disqualification of KC Narayana Gowda of the JD(S) by the then Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.

In July this year, 17 MLAs were disqualified by Kumar based on the complaint of Congress and JD(S) after their absence and resignation from the Assembly during the trust vote leading to the collapse of then HD Kumaraswamy-led government.

After the court allowed the disqualified MLAs to contest the bypolls, the BJP fielded Gowda from the same seat.

In a choked voice and wiping his tears repeatedly with his handkerchief, Kumaraswamy said, “I am not crying because of losing power but it is only the expression of pain I have gone through.”

“What wrong have I done to the people of the state?”

Kumaraswamy's son and JD(S) chief HD Deve Gowda’s grandson Nikhil was defeated from Mandya by actress and popular Kannada film star Ambareesh's widow Sumalatha Ambareesh, who fought as an independent candidate.

Kumaraswamy said he was not worried about his son losing the election but was anguished that the people of Mandya, whom he trusted the most, deserted him.

The post of chief minister is nothing for me. I need your love and affection and nothing else, said Kumaraswamy before bursting into tears.

The JD(S) leader said he was in politics only to serve the poor and downtrodden.

Explaining the circumstances in which he was made the chief minister for 14 months, the former chief minister said Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had compelled him to take up the role when the 2018 Assembly elections threw up a hung Assembly.

However, the 14 months tenure was not an easy one.

To tell you the truth, I neither worked peacefully from day one, nor had proper sleep, Kumaraswamy told the crowd. 

In July 2018 too, during a celebratory ceremony in Bengaluru’s Seshadripuram, Kumaraswamy who was the chief minister of the state shed tears and said he had swallowed poison referring to JD(S) joining hands with the Congress. 

 

Former Prime Minister and Kumaraswamy's father HD Deve Gowda was also seen in tears on the stage while campaigning for his grandson (HD Revanna's son) Prajwal Revanna during Assembly election in Hassan.

Deve Gowda had left the Hassan seat for grandson to contest after his tryst with the constituency for decades together which had left him teary eyed. 

(With PTI inputs)