Dr K. Sudhakar, Congress MLA from Chikkaballapura, is in the news once again. While many of his friends were rewarded with cabinet berths and posts in different boards and corporations, he is still waiting for Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to sign a file appointing him as KSPCB chairman, the post for which the Congress party had recommended his name. Months back, he had virtually raised the banner of revolt against the party for being deprived of a berth. Now, he seems to be more cautious, maybe to protect his political interests for the sake of the future. In a free wheeling chat with Deccan Chronicle, Dr Sudhakar, opened up to talk about the controversy, but very cautiously. A former top officer in a MNC, who turned to politics to continue his family legacy, Dr Sudhakar spoke about the controversy, government finances and dissent in the Congress party. Here are excerpts from his interview.
To begin with, what is your reaction to the delay in Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy signing the file for your appointment along with that of three other Congress MLAs nominated to different boards and corporations?
I do not want to join issue with anyone. I am hopeful that our CM will certainly approve the recommendations made by the Congress high command.
You might be aware of the developments for both the posts of political secretary and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board chairman, the CM seems keen on appointing JD (S) nominees.
I don’t think so. The Congress high command after consulting local leaders recommended my name for the Pollution Control Board chairman post. So, I hope the chief minister will respect the recommendations of the Congress high command. As far as the political secretary post is concerned, this has been recommended only after consulting the CM. Mr V. Muniyappaji is a
Congress senior leader. His name was announced in one of the CLP meetings too. After that, this was discussed with the chief minister. So, the recommendation of his name too need not create any controversy. But, if you are saying the JD (S) has gone ahead to make appointments, then the Congress high command has to respond to this because the decisions were taken at that level.
You may have inside information. Why do you think the CM while clearing names of Congress MLAs for other boards and corporations, not sign your file and those of a few others?
How can I answer this? You have to ask him (chief minister) this question.
There is a technical issue here. Even former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda has spoken about this. The Supreme Court laid down certain guidelines for the Pollution Control Board chairman’s post. Their argument is that you may not have the required qualification...
(sounds agitated) I have gone through the judgement copy. The SC judgement is the law of the land as of now. I think it applies to all including me. I am over qualified. I am a qualified doctor besides having several additional qualifications. Once they go through my CV, they will realise that I am over qualified (to hold the KSPCB chairman post). I need not make public my CV. Why should I go to town showing my CV? I know my qualifications. So I need not worry about the qualification issue. That’s why I said in the beginning that I do not want to join issue with anyone.
Moving on, many Congress legislators are complaining that even after eight months, funds are not being released to their constituencies. What is your opinion on this?
Nowhere in the country, has a farm loan waiver of such magnitude been taken up. The amount needed is over Rs 44,000 crore. The government has to make a lot of adjustments for the sake of the loan waiver. To gain something we have to lose some. When our resources are limited, we have to readjust our plans. In this background, it is quite natural that the government could not take up other major projects to focus on the loan waiver scheme. Now, they have started releasing funds to other departments. In our constituency, the RDPR department has released funds for some of the programmes which I suggested. Therefore, we can’t criticise the government. The general practice is that the pace will pick up in the second or third quarter. This time, it has picked up in the last quarter. Nothing wrong in it.
Are you confident that all the works announced in the budget will be done in three months?
They will make budgetary provisions and then execute the works.
There is a different angle here. If the government does not do any major work, it may go against the coalition partners in the Parliament elections three months down the line.
No, not really. Parliament elections are fought on different issues. The local problems or local government issues do not figure during this. National security, international relations, the PM candidate and secularism are the issues that figure in the Lok Sabha elections. People are aware of these issues. So, we need not worry about these having a bearing on the Lok Sabha elections.
There is a strong buzz in political circles that this government will fall around Sankranti. Many of your party MLAs will resign. You may know more details about the developments. What do you have to say about the rumours?
Politics is a power game. Every party wants to come to power and there is nothing wrong in it. What happened in Karnataka is that the BJP got 104 seats and it is now the single largest party. It is natural that BJP wants to come to power. I am not saying it is wrong. But we have a coalition government here. Both the parties have come together on a secular platform. I don’t think our party MLAs will resign and I hope they will not do so.
Finally, what will you do if you are not appointed KPSC chairman?
I will leave it to the party high command.
To be specific, will you resign from the party?
No, I will not resign from the assembly. As I said earlier, I will leave it to the party and focus on my work.