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Saturday, 20 May 2017 09:19

'BJP on drought study to cover up feud'

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Bengaluru, May 20: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday mocked the ongoing drought tour of the state BJP leaders, saying “they are going round the state holding umbrellas.”siddaramaiah

“BJP leaders have begun drought study tour at a time when the monsoon is about to begin. They should have done it much before. Maybe it was too hot for them to tour all these days... They are now going around the state holding umbrellas,” he said sardonically during an interaction with mediapersons in Bengaluru.

BJP leaders have taken up the drought tour in order to “cover up their infighting”. They do not have any concern for the farming community. They should have gone to Delhi and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to waive farm loans if they had any concern for the farmers, he added.

He pooh-poohed the BJP’s Mission 150 (target to win 150 seats in the next Assembly elections). “Where is Mission 150? Is it in their pocket?... They (BJP leaders) are under an illusion of coming to power. But people of the state will take an appropriate decision,” he added.

Siddaramaiah accused the Modi government of failing to fulfil promises the BJP had made before coming to power at the Centre, and patted his own back for what is said ‘walking the talk.’ He strongly denied charges that he was pro-Ahinda (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits) and anti-Jilebi (Kannada acronym for Vokkaligas, Lingayats and Brahmins).

“I may talk more in favour of Ahinda, but that does not mean that I am against the poor in other communities. Whether it is Anna Bhagya or Ksheera Bhagya or interest-free farm loans, the poor across all the communities are benefiting from the government schemes. My government is for social justice and for providing opportunities to the oppressed classes,” he stated.

Siddaramaiah claimed that there is no anti-incumbency feeling among people on his government despite it being in power for four years. People are not against the government. They have complete faith in my government. The recent byelections from Nanjangud and Gundlupet Assembly constituencies have proved it, he added.

Siddaramaiah claimed that none of the state Congress leaders brought him to the party, hitting back at his friend-turned-foe and former MP A H Vishwanath.

“I knew Ahmed Patel (political secretary to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi). He directly took me to Madam (Sonia Gandhi)... None of the state Congress leaders brought me to the party,” he added.

He refuted former external affairs minister S M Krishna’s claim that he had introduced Siddaramaiah to Sonia.

The chief minister instead claimed that he had already met the Congress president before meeting Krishna who was the then Maharashtra Governor.

He also refused to comment on Vishwanath’s move to join the JD(S). He admitted that there is intense competition among the leaders for the post of chief minister if the Congress returns to power in the next polls. Siddaramaiah reiterated that he will lead the party in the 2018 Assembly elections and said that the Congress legislature party and the party high command will pick the leader after the elections.


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