Hubballi: Terming the allegation about involvement of mines and geology minister Vinay Kulkarni in the murder case of Dharwad ZP member Yogesh Gouda as false and baseless, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said it is a conspiracy hatched by the BJP against the Congress leader in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections.
Addressing mediapersons in Nargund town of Gadag district on Monday, he said that the minister is being targeted as he is actively involved in the agitation demanding separate religion status for Lingayats. Stating that charges are being levelled against the minister in an attempt to weaken the Lingayat movement, he said that BJP leaders are always lying as they have no other issue to raise against the state government.
"The charge levelled against minister Vinay Kulkarni is a BJP plot to malign him ahead of the Assembly elections. They will not succeed in any such conspiracy to damage his image as the minister is innocent. The Congress will come to power again after the next election as we have fulfilled all promises made before the previous election", said Mr Siddaramaiah.
The Chief Minister also said that a few BJP leaders have expressed willingness to join the the Congress and have been in touch with him.
Responding to the Mahadayi water dispute, he said that it is not possible for state BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa to resolve the issue though he has promised to find a solution to it within a month. He also said that the water row can be amicably resolved only with the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state BJP leaders have been giving assurances with an eye on the forthcoming Assembly elections.
Expressing confidence that the Mahadayi water dispute tribunal will give its verdict before August next year, he remarked that earlier Prime Ministers in the country have not behaved like Narendra Modi in settlement of such disputes in the federal system.
Water resource minister M B Patil said that Siddaramaiah should serve as Chief Minister for a second time after the 2018 elections as the state government under his leadership has made tremendous achievement in all sectors including irrigation. He also alleged that BJP leaders have misled the Prime Minister over resolving the Mahadayi water dispute.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his Cabinet colleagues faced the wrath of Mahadayi farmers who raised slogans against the state government urging State Congress leaders to persuade AICC president Sonia Gandhi to find an early solution to to river water dispute....