Kumaraswamy seeks probe into seat-blocking 'menace'

CET counselling delayed to help private colleges, alleges former chief minister

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly H D Kumaraswamy on Wednesday demanded that the State government should order an inquiry into the activities of the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges - Karnataka (Comed-K), especially into the ‘menace’ of seat blocking.

Interacting with the media in Bangalore, Kumaraswamy said that for the first time the Comed-K counselling is being conducted ahead of the Karnataka Examinations Authority’s (KEA) seat-selection process for CET rank holders.

“The government was not even in a position to prepare the seat matrix on time. There is a feeling that things are moving towards the advantage of Comed-K. Is it because a number of Congress leaders are running private medical and engineering colleges? Chief Minister Siddaramaiah should order an inquiry immediately,” Kumaraswamy said.

Seat-blocking, wherein a government seat is surrendered at the last minute to fall into the private management kitty, is on the rise and should be probed, he added.

Pressure on CM

The JD(S) leader claimed that there was tremendous pressure on Siddaramaiah to reintroduce arrack in the State and claimed that he had ‘documents’ that would reveal the reason behind the chief minister mooting the  proposal on cheap liquor. “Take it from me, arrack will be reintroduced in the State soon after the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

‘Will take CM head-on’

Kumaraswamy said he as leader of the Opposition was ready to take Siddaramaiah head-on, but wondered whether his party would be branded anti-Kuruba, the community to which the chief minister belongs.

“I am already facing the wrath of one community for taking on the BJP and B S Yeddyurappa,” Kumaraswamy said.

The State government, which is yet to complete two months in office, had already bungled on several issues, including providing rice at Re 1 per kg for Below Povert Line families, announcing the seat matrix for professional courses, repayment of crop loans to farmers, among others, he said.

Kumaraswamy wondered at the purpose behind All India Congress Committe General Secretary Digvijay Singh announcing a decision to form a  co-ordination committee to ensure smooth relations between the State party unit and the government.

“Co-ordination committees are usually formed in coalition governments. The Congress has come to power on its own and yet a co-ordination committee is being constituted. Is it for co-ordination between old-timers and migrants in the Congress?’’ he said referring to the simmering discontent in the Congress over Siddaramaiah sidelining old-timers in the party.

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