Bangalore : Candidates, while seeking votes, are known to dole out cash, liquor, freebies and promises, but in Karnataka, H D Kumaraswamy, former chief minister and son of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, is doling out tears for votes.
Addressing party workers in the sun-baked and rock-strewn Sholay town of Ramnagaram, Kumaraswamy wept like a kid and had to stop his speech sobbing all the way to his seat.
At a late evening meeting, Kumaraswamy tried to placate party workers of Ramanagaram trying to do a Rahul Gandhi by narrating how his forefathers were connected to the region and how the constituency had given political life to his father and then to himself. “My father is working for you even at the age of 82,” he said.
But his story did not cut much ice and party workers told him to stop all his stories and come back to contest from Bangalore Rural against DK Suresh, younger brother of controversial and tainted minister D K Shivkumar. One of the workers threatened to commit suicide, if he ditched them.
All of a sudden Kumaraswamy went into an
emotional tailspin and in an emotional outburst said: “I’ve done so much for Ramanagaram. But all of you insulted my wife by ensuring her defeat twice, and favoured killers and granite miners.” (An obvious reference to DK Shivakumar’s family).
And tears flowed freely. Fighting back tears, he said: “After all the insults, I now feel I am politically dead. You have another chance. If you really think I’ve done something for the people of Ramanagaram, please ensure our candidate’s (Prabhakar Reddy) victory and give us an opportunity to serve you again.’’
“If you think I have worked for your welfare, then vote for us. Or else, don’t vote,” he said and abandoned his speech midway crying like a child, taking everybody by surprise.
Kumaraswamy and his father are known to shed tears at the drop of a hat, especially during campaigning. While electioneering in Periyapatna, Mysore district, in 2013, Kumaraswamy, who was then the party state president, broke down in front of a gathering.
During the 2008 assembly elections too, Kumaraswamy’s speech at a constituency in the sugar belt of Mandya ended in tears.