Bengaluru: Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy has revealed that he had decided to quit politics when his party JD(S) got only 38 seats in the Assembly elections in May 2018. But, a call from the Congress changed everything and he became the chief minister of the state.

The Congress offered to form an alliance government and this made me stay on and continue in politics, admitted Kumaraswamy.

In the 2018 Assembly elections, the BJP won 104 seats, whereas the Congress bagged 78 and the JD(S) had 38.

To keep the BJP away from power, the Congress leaders made a call to the JD(S) and extended their support. They also offered the chief minister’s position to Kumaraswamy. The magic number was 113 and with the help of two independents they formed the government.

Kumaraswamy also spoke about his previous stint as the state chief minister, when he had made an alliance with the BJP. He said, 12 years ago his credentials were that he was the son of a Prime Minister (HD Deve Gowda) and did not have much knowledge in politics. Then the time (20 months) was not sufficient to perform duties and currently the balancing act between the parties in the alliance government is a challenge, he said.

The agreement was that Kumaraswamy would be the chief minister for 20 months and then BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa will take over for the next 20 months. But there was a rift between the coalition partners when Kumaraswamy did not step down after 20 months and the JD(S)-BJP government fell.

Later, in 2008 Assembly elections, the BJP came to power and Yeddyurappa became the chief minister.

Kumaraswamy also said that he does not believe in astrology to take major decisions. But, he said that his father Deve Gowda and brother HD Revanna (PWD minister) had strong beliefs in astrology and that had to be respected.

He lashed out at Yeddyurappa for blaming that he had cheated the Veerashaiva Lingayat officers. “I don't believe in casteism. If there is any proof of the same, I will set everything right,” said Kumaraswamy.