Nation Current Affairs 04 Apr 2019 Q&A: Bengaluru not c ...

Q&A: Bengaluru not created by SMK, he is egotistic, says Dinesh Gundurao

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Apr 4, 2019, 6:47 am IST
Updated Apr 4, 2019, 7:15 am IST
We have already held talks with him (G.T. Deve Gowda), even Siddaramaiah spoke to him.
G.T. Deve Gowda.
 G.T. Deve Gowda.

Question of Answers

Knowing well that the Congress had to contest the LS polls jointly with JD (S), you could have done the seat sharing exercise long before the polls were announced. That would have helped  iron out differences between workers of both  parties.

It was almost impossible (to hold talks six months before the elections). Seat sharing talks can’t be done unless we know about the candidates. In the last one year, we had by-elections, then came Operation Lotus under which the BJP tried to destabilise the coalition government and we had to counter it. It consumed our energy and time. Looking back, we successfully held the seat sharing talks and 95 per cent of problems were resolved.

Still, workers of both parties are unhappy. Have you prepared a blueprint for a joint strategy?

See, the Sunday rally where AICC president Rahul Gandhi and H.D. Deve Gowda jointly addressed workers and leaders in Bengaluru was a good start for JD (S) and Congress to work together in this election. From April 8, both Mr Gowda and Mr Siddaramaiah will jointly campaign across the state. Mr Kumaraswamy (CM) has already started his part of the  joint campaign.

 

But party workers are unwilling to co-operate in Hassan, Mandya and Ballari districts...

Ballari is not a problem. Some leaders had an issue and we sorted it  out. In Hassan, most leaders are with us. What happens is that of 100 workers, even if five refuse to co-operate, that becomes news and not that 95 are working for us.

But, higher education minister G.T. Deve Gowda had said that unless Congress workers come forward to work for JD (S) candidates, JD (S) workers will not work for the Congress in places where their candidates are contesting.  

We have already held talks with him (G.T. Deve Gowda), even Siddaramaiah spoke to him. They have agreed to a joint campaign. After two days, we will hold talks with the CM about the issues they had raised and will sort them out.

 

Considering the fact that you have fielded only one Muslim candidate, haven’t you compromised on the principle of social justice?

No, not at all. We have made many Muslim leaders  Rajya Sabha MPs and Council members. Generally we used to give them two seats. But this time, we are contesting only 21 seats so we could not give them more seats.

Was the fielding of Lingayat candidates  against the BJP’s Lingayat nominees a strategic decision? With Dalits and minorities already in your bag, you decided not to field a candidate from these communities and instead tried to woo the majority community by fielding Lingayat candidates. Was that the strategy?

We have accommodated minorities and all communities. Ours is an inclusive party. In the byelections in Jamkhandi and Ballari last year, Anand Nyamegouda and V.S. Ugrappa got the highest number  of Lingayat votes. This clearly shows a paradigm shift in the Lingayat community. Instead of backing a party(BJP) for the sake of making one leader CM, if they come with us, we can accommodate many of their leaders. We have given tickets to Lingayats in Belagavi, Chikkodi, Bagalkote, Dharwad and Bidar We have made M.B. Patil and Shivanand Patil ministers and Eshwar Khandre KPCC working president. We will win a majority of the seats in both Bombay and Hyderabad Karnataka.

Veteran leader S.M. Krishna recently said that after 2004, he was forced to go to Maharashtra (as governor) though he wanted to continue here as CLP leader. Your comment?

I don’t want to react because it does not seem nice. After reducing the party to 65 seats in the 2004 assembly elections, how could he dream of getting the top post again?  But he still became Maharashtra governor and we then sent him to Parliament and made him external affairs minister. His comments show the level to which he has fallen. I am sorry to say this. What more did he want? (sarcastically) Probably he wanted to become Prime Minister.

He also said he had prepared a blueprint for Bengaluru’s development. But the government that succeeded his in 2004 sabotaged his plans..

 I think, he is saying this for the sake of saying something. Has Bengaluru deteriorated? No. We have received the highest FDI. The real estate boom is here to see.  We have so many projects like PRR and the Metro. What he said is nothing but an illusion. Did Bengaluru happen because of him? No doubt he contributed to the city and state. We have always acknowledged his contributions like Stree Shakti or the midday meal scheme. But these statements reveal he is egotistic.

Didn’t Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy participating in a dharna set a wrong precedent?

 No. After we held the dharna, the IT department stopped(the raids). After the Yeddyurappa diary row broke out, why did the IT commissioner have to defend him? Our objection was not against the IT raid. You should not do this during elections. It creates a fear psychosis. When BJP started Operation Lotus, we gave them (IT department) a petition but they did nothing. In the case of the Yeddyurappa diaries, who is the commissioner to give a clarification? The IT officials have differences and some of them claim the chief is involved in vindictive politics. Politicisation should not happen.

In the eighties and nineties, the third front space was slowly taken over by the BJP. Similarly, if you continue to align with JD (S) in Old Mysuru, your  workers may join the BJP.

No no. The alliance is at the national level. Since it is a crucial election, we  have a truck with JD (S). In the next ZP and TP elections, we will go it alone. We are confident of regaining and retaining our space.

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