Kalaburagi: While ruling out the possibility of an alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular) in the coming by-polls in the state, senior Congress Leader Siddaramaiah on Sunday declared that the BJP government would be dethroned as the Congress would win all the 15 seats for which the by-elections would be held on December 5.
Speaking to the media here, Mr Siddaramaiah tried to convey the impression that it was due to the stance of JD(S) leaders that no tie-up was possible in the by-polls. “Both Mr Deve Gowda and Mr Kumaraswamy have given statements that they would have no tie-up with any party and contest independently. So when they have made this statement, the Congress will go its way and fight on its own”, Mr Siddaramaiah added.
The former Chief Minister was here to take part in a function organised by the local unit of Kuruba Sangha to distribute scholarships for its community students.
Mr Siddaramaiah took a dig at Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa for running a government without having a majority. “Does he have the support of 113 MLAs. He is running the government with 105 legislators”, he quipped.
Mr Siddaramaiah took the Election Commission to task for postponing the election alleging it was dancing to the tunes of the BJP government. “The EC had on its own declared the by-election dates. But with a view to help the disqualified legislators, they have deferred the elections”, he alleged.
He dismissed media reports on the squabbling between him and senior leader K.H. Muniyappa. “ There is no such distinction like native Congressmen and migrants, all are Congressmen. The media reports that Mr Muniyappa addressed me in the singular were all concocted. Mr Muniyappa is a friend of mine. In politics there are bound to be differences of opinion. That doesn’t mean we are enemies”, Mr Siddaramaiah remarked.
Mr Siddaramaiah retorted, “what do you mean by the word grip?”, when a reporter asked him that his “grip” on the party was slackening. Mr Siddarmaiah also dismissed the observation that he was being sidelined in the party.
Mr Siddaramaiah came down heavily upon the Centre for not releasing funds for flood relief works in the State. “Even nearly 50 days after the worst floods, the Centre has not released a single paise. Mr Yediyurappa is whiling away his time saying we will get tomorrow, a day after. Even though 25 BJP MPs have been elected from the State, they have failed to exert pressure on the Centre”, he remarked.
Later speaking at the function, Mr Siddaramaiah stated that the backward Hyderabad Karnataka region would not be benefitted in any with the mere change of name as “Kalyana Karnataka”. “Does the change of name help the people get their belly filled. We should launch programmes which would benefit the people. When in office, we introduced the Article 371(J) which has helped the people in getting jobs and also in admissions for professional courses. I had also enhanced the grants to the Hyderabad Karnataka Region Development Board (HKRDB) to Rs 1500. The region would be really benefitted if those who have rechristened it as Kalyana Karnataka enhanced the annual grants to the Board to Rs 3,000 crore”, Mr Siddaramaih remarked.