Bengaluru: "If she is hurt, I will withdraw my words," said Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy reacting to the criticism after he questioned farmer woman Jayashri, "Where was she sleeping these four years?"

Earlier, Jayashri had called Kumaraswamy unfit to be the chief minister. Kumaraswamy made this controversial  statement soon after, drawing flak from farmers and opposition.

"I didn't mean to hurt or insult anyone. I come from a rural background. My speech and words have been taken out of contest and misinterpreted," said Kumaraswamy.  

Jayashri was representing a group of farmers protesting against sugar mill owners and the state government for payment dues while demanding increased support price.

Reacting to the same, Kumaraswamy said that the payment is due since four years and it has been just five months since he has taken over as the chief minister. So, Kumaraswamy asked her where was she all these years and why the agitation has been planned now?

In the process, he also called the protesting farmers trying to break open the gates of Suvarna Soudha as "goondas".

"They cannot be called farmers. They are goondas," Kumaraswamy had said.

In the same speech, Kumaraswamy had also expressed his doubts that Jayashri was a farmer. "Don't know if this woman has gone to the farm ever," he had said.

Thus, clearing Kumaraswamy's doubt, Jayashri later released her identity card issued by the state farmers' association to the media and stated, "I don't carry an iPhone. I am a farmer woman."  

It is said that she is the president of women's unit of Belagavi farmers and also leads Belagavi women's unit of Hasiru Sene.

But Kumaraswamy also said that it was not right for the woman to use the word "unfit" for a chief minister.