BJP never wanted strong local bodies: Siddaramaiah

‘Saffron party had opposed decentralisation of power and quotas for various groups in panchayats.’
DEODURGA, (Raichur): CM Siddaramaiah made a scathing attack on the BJP saying it had no moral right to seek votes in elections to the Upper House from local bodies constituencies as it had opposed the decentralisation of power and reservation of seats for various categories of people in panchayat bodies.
Addressing a meeting of elected representatives from local bodies in Raichur district, he contended that when Rajiv Gandhi wanted to decentralise power and empower downtrodden sections with the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution, a prominent BJP leader, Rama Jois, had challenged it in the Supreme Court.
“BJP leaders B.S. Yeddyurappa, Jagadish Shettar and Ananth Kumar should have asked Mr Jois to withdraw the petition if they believed in decentralization of power. These BJP leaders never raised the issue of strengthening local bodies on the floor of the House. They have no moral right to fight the local body elections, they should be ashamed of seeking votes”, Mr Siddaramaiah asserted.
The Congress on the other hand, had always stood for strengthening panchayat raj institutions. During the tenure of S.M. Krishna as CM, the responsibility of running 27 departments, were brought under the purview of ZPs. Further the passage of the Grama Swaraj Bill in the just concluded session was an example of its commitment to empowering panchayat raj institutions.
‘Don't call me BC leader’
Mr Siddaramaiah made known his dislike for being described as backward class leader during an interaction with the media in Deodurga. “ I’m not the leader of merely backward communities, I’m the leader of all communities in the state. I represent all six crore Kannadigas”, he said. The bitterness between CM and BJP leader K.S. Eshwarappa too surfaced when he addressed a meeting of members of local bodies at Deodurga. “This fellow (Eshwarappa) has no link between his brain and tongue” he said evoking laughter among the audience.

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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