Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday lost his cool when employees of the Yermarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS) in Raichur district blocked his convoy to submit a list of their grievances.
Kumaraswamy, who was in Raichur for his 'Grama Vastavya' (village stay) programme, shouted at a group of workers who approached him over their demands, including unfulfilled 'promise' of jobs given when their land was taken over for the power project.
"You voted for Narendra Modi and want me to get your works done! You want me to give you respect. Should I baton-charge you? Leave the place," he told the YTPS employees, leaving onlookers shocked.
The chief minister then left the place.
His conduct drew condemnation from the Bharatiya Janata Party with state party chief B S Yeddyurappa saying shouting at people who wanted to meet the chief minister was against democracy.
Later, Kumaraswamy told a television channel that he had sought 15 days time to address the workers' grievances but they blocked the road which made him angry.
He asked if the prime minister's convoy was blocked would anyone accept it.
"This government is tolerant, but it is not incapable and knows how to deal with situations", said the 59-year-old chief minister.
Addressing the people of Karegudda village later, Kumaraswamy said he would exercise caution in future if the words he uttered were treated as a crime.
He said chanting Modi's name will not serve the purpose because 'your voice will not reach Delhi'.
"It is only me who has to listen and rectify things. People should not forget the responsibility reposed on me," the chief minister said.
Taking a dig at the BJP, he said if required he will arrange a special train from the state government funds for Yeddyurappa and his party colleagues to meet Modi in Delhi and get the works done by the Centre.
Kumaraswamy will spend the night at a government higher primary school in Karegudda under Manvi Taluk of the district as part of his village stay programme.
This is the chief minister's second such stay, the first was in Chandaraki village in Yadgiri district last week.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka BJP condemned the chief minister's outburst and threatened to stage state-wide agitations if Kumaraswamy did not apologise to the masses.
Condemning Kumaraswamy for his outburst, Yeddyurappa said the purpose of the village stay programme was to listen to the grievances of the people.
"Threatening people who walked several kilometres to meet you that they will be baton charged is against the democracy. The CM is losing is cool, may be because of his terrible rout in the Lok Sabha elections, he told reporters in Shivamogga.
Former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular supremo H D Deve Gowda said some forces were putting obstacles in the village stay programme of his son and the chief minister.
"I feel certain forces, which are unable to tolerate the village stay programme, are putting obstacles," he said.