Former Chief Minister Siddharamaiah claims only Congress championed Panchayat set up
Mysuru, Dec. 8 (RKB&DM)- The BJP shied away from conducting polls to local bodies due to fear of defeat, said Opposition Leader and former Chief Minister Siddharamaiah. The non-conduct of local bodies polls has significantly dwindled the number of voters who are going to cast their ballots in the Legislative Council polls from Local Authorities Constituency, he added.
Addressing a press meet at his residence in Ramakrishnanagar here this morning, Siddharamaiah appealed to the electorate to cast their first preference vote in favour of Mysuru-Chamarajanagar seat Congress candidate Dr. D. Thimmaiah.
Noting that Mysuru-Chama-rajanagar is one of the five dual-member seats in the State, with others being Dakshina Kannada-Udupi, Dharwad-Haveri-Gadag, Vijayapura-Bagalkot and Belagavi, the former CM said that the Congress has selected the party candidates purely on the basis of social justice and not out of caste considerations.
“It was the Congress Gover-nment in the 1980s which man-dated reservation for women and backward classes in local bodies and the BJP had opposed this. As such, the BJP has no locus standi for claiming that it was for social justice“, he claimed.
Questioning the BJP and the JD(S) on their contribution for the empowerment of deprived and marginalised sections of the society, Siddharamaiah maintained that the BJP has not built a single home for the urban poor and the rural population in its two and half-years of power in the State.
Accusing the BJP Government of rampant corruption and nepotism, he sought a judicial probe into the alleged complaint of Contractors Association, which had reportedly claimed that bills are not passed without a 40 percent cut.
Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not coming to the rescue of Karnataka when the State was reeling under floods and other natural disasters, he alleged that the BJP Government did not mind indulging in corruption even when people died in large numbers due to COVID pandemic.
Noting that he had not seen such a corrupt Government both at the Centre and the State in his over four decades of political career, the former CM claimed that about 50 lakh people had died in the country and 4 lakh in the State and most of them are yet to get relief announced by the Government.
Referring to his criticism by JD(S) leaders, he said that he was personally not against H.D. Devegowda or H.D. Kumara-swamy. However, he has severe ideological differences with the JD(S), he said, adding that the JD(S) has no moral right to criticise him as the party has been frequently changing its stance on crucial issues and matters of governance.
Replying to a question of MP Srinivas Prasad’s remarks against him made yesterday, Siddharamaiah said that Prasad has no standing to make com-ments against him as he (Prasad) has been in and out of many parties, both at the Central and State level.
Former Minister Dr. H. C. Mahadevappa, KPCC Working President R. Dhruvanarayan, Congress candidate Dr. D. Thimmaiah, City Congress President R. Murthy, District Congress President Dr. B.J. Vijaykumar, former MLA M.K. Somashekar, leaders K. Mari-gowda, M. Lakshmana and others were present.