On Saturday Karnataka chief minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy broke down publicly while addressing party workers and claimed that he has been forced to behave like ‘Vishakanta.’ This was with reference to Shiva, one of Hinduism’s divine trinities, who is called the poison-throated one, as he is said to have swallowed poison to save the world, during the great churning of the ocean.

Mr Kumaraswamy told party workers that he had swallowed the poison of “power” for the sake of Karnataka’s well-being. Earlier, his father and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda had claimed that the JD(S) had been “forced” to take the CM’s chair.

Instead of indulging in such theatrics, the CM as well as the state would be better served if the focus is on governance-related issues. The infrastructure in Bengaluru is on the verge of collapse as the unbridled population influx has led to lack of civic amenities. The roads are in an appalling condition, the water supply is patchy, garbage clearance is a hit and miss affair and there are huge power outages. Several other parts of the state are suffering from flooding due to the heavy monsoon. North Karnataka, coastal Karnataka and central parts of the state are feeling left out as the government is focusing only on its strongholds in southern region.

With a mere 37 seats mainly from the southern districts, the JD(S), owing to the national compulsions of the Congress party, finds itself in the driver’s seat . It should seize this unexpected opportunity to deliver on its governance promises instead of its leaders making a spectacle of themselves .

Given that the Congress has more than double the number of legislators than the JD(S), it is only natural that it expects its wishes be taken into account before major policy decisions are taken. Mr Kumaraswamy should work closely with Congress leaders in the state and deliver on the common minimum programme that they have drawn up, instead of seeking the intervention of the high command of the grand old party to deal with every little issue.

The CM has to deliver on the waiver of farmer loans availed from banks and financial institutions other than co-operative banks. Now, the government is talking of waiving all education loans along with distributing free bus passes to students.

With the general elections less than a year away, the CM will want to take credit for all of these measures. But for that, he has to give up these histrionics and work to fulfil the coalition’s promises.

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