Bengaluru: If a Fortuner could be the harbinger of good fortune, it could be just the ideal vehicle to take Food and Civil Supplies Minister Zameer Ahmed Khan to dizzy heights. This could be the reason why he has insisted that he be allotted the Toyota Fortuner SUV used by previous Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with whom he enjoys a close association.
“I am used to travelling in big cars. Since Toyota Innova is small, I have asked for the Fortuner used by Mr Siddaramaiah as CM since it is in a very good condition. I am optimistic of getting it. This is not because I believe it will bring good or bad luck. Power is not permanent, everything cannot be kept lifelong".
On CM H.D. Kumaraswamy using his private car for official purposes, Mr Khan said the CM is very popular and will be easily recognized in whichever car he travels. But, he (Zameer) had not reached that level. “I am visible to people only if I travel in a government car. For this reason, I have asked for the Fortuner,” he said.
The minister also made use of the occasion to object to former minister and Congress MLA Tanveer Sait's statement on his popularity and challenged him for a check on who was more popular in the minority community.
“I will go Narasimha Raja Assembly constituency represented by Mr Sait. He can see for himself how many people will come to see me. It will also be a befitting reply to Mr Sait's statement that Mr Zameer and Urban Development Minister U.T. Khader are not the right leaders to represent the Muslim community in the cabinet,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Denying reports that he had used his influence to get a Cabinet berth, Mr Khan quipped that Congress President Rahul Gandhi was not his relative to make him a minister.
The high command had a survey done through its agencies of all ministerial aspirants and only the capable ones including him had been made ministers. Naturally, senior leaders like Mr R Roshan Baig and Mr Sait may be upset, he remarked. Mr Zameer also disclosed that Mr Baig was putting pressure on the high command to get the Haj and Wakf portfolios which are currently with him. If these two portfolios are withdrawn, it would have to be given to Mr Khader following the tradition as Mr Baig was not even a minister, he said.
The minister denied the allegation that he had tried to defeat Mr Tanveer Sait in NR Assembly constituency and quipped that he came to know he was so powerful only after Mr Sait made this allegation.
“I would not like to create problems for anyone but I have to reply if political allegations are made against me, or else I will be called a coward,” said the minister who till a few months ago, was in the Janata Dal(S)....