Only urban elite discuss scams: BSY

B S Yeddyurappa.

In the recent weeks, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has been busy countering the allegations of land scams levelled against him by his detractors.

Now, he is on a whirlwind tour of districts to boost the prospects of the BJP in the forthcoming election to the zilla and taluk panchayats and stabilise his position in the party.

A battered Yeddyurappa is trying to put up a brave front when it comes to shielding himself from the barbs of the Opposition party leaders.

He is confident that the work done by him and his government will make a positive impact on voters.

Before leaving for the election campaign, he invited a host of journalists to convey his prognostication that his party will emerge victorious in the panchayat elections being held in two phases.

During an interaction with Vijesh Kamath of Deccan Herald on Tuesday, the Chief Minister spoke on many issues, including his intention of bringing ‘more’ transparency in the administration.

Excerpts from the interview:

You are facing the people and seeking their votes when you and your government are facing charges over scams.

The scam charges are being discussed only by the urban elite. The rural population is talking about the developmental programmes launched by the government.  They are convinced that the charges made by the Opposition are a disinformation campaign.

You mean to say the charges have not tarnished the image of your party government?
Definitely. During the last two and a half years, we have launched welfare and development schemes that have benefited 1.5 crore people. The Opposition is not able to digest the tremendous progress witnessed during our rule. Their only goal is to ensure that I do not complete five years. For, if I continue, they will have to permanently sit in the Opposition.

The party high command summoned you to Delhi in November. You were on the verge of losing your chair. The party could have handled the entire issue better.
All I can say is that I went through another test of fire (agniparikshe), which I have been facing repeatedly since I became the chief minister. But the people have backed me every time - be it the Lok Sabha elections, the Assembly by-polls or the BBMP elections. Their faith in the government will be proved again on the panchayat poll results day - January 4.

The lessons you learnt from the ‘test of fire’.

I will try to usher in more transparency in the administration, take steps to build confidence among the people and ensure that all the members of the State Cabinet function more efficiently.

It looks you have more enemies within the party than outside.

(Pause). No... We are all united. Otherwise, there would not have been such progress. All ministers and legislators are working together. The Bhagyalakshmi programme and saree distribution have received massive response and the public support has instilled fresh confidence in us.

You are reluctant to consider the results of the panchayat polls as a referendum on the government.

There is no tradition of considering the results of polls to the local bodies as a referendum on the government. The ZP-TP polls are different from the Assembly elections.

Your government is surviving on a wafer-thin majority in the Assembly. How do you tackle the Opposition?

It is not a problem. We will improve our strength by winning the by-elections to the Assembly. Of course, we could have performed better, if we had more numbers in the House. I do not foresee any problem with our existing strength in the House for the rest of the term.

Your office has painted a rosy picture of the State finances. So, no additional taxes in next year’s budget.

It is too early to give any assurances.

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