JD(S) assures 'Dalit budget' if voted to power

JD(S) assures 'Dalit budget' if voted to power

The JD(S) SC/ST convention took off in Bengaluru on Wednesday with the party's Dalit leaders mooting a separate 'Dalit budget', if the party came to power next year. The party leadership, however, made no commitment to this effect.

JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy, instead, chose to attack Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for his "betrayal" of the Dalit community. Kumaraswamy said Siddaramaiah has so effectively sidelined senior Dalit leaders in the party that their voices have been completely suppressed. While Congress leader G Parameshwara has been reduced to "begging" for the deputy chief minister portfolio, veteran leader Mallikarjuna Kharge has been forced to restrict himself to national politics, as he was disallowed to carve a space for himself in the state, he said.

Kumaraswamy said though Parameshwara was inducted into the Cabinet, Siddaramaiah had ensured that he was powerless. "Parameshwara was nothing but a proxy home minister, for, the entire department was controlled by Siddaramaiah's aide Kempaiah."

He said the Congress' only "achievement" in the last four-and-a-half years is burdening the state with its heavy borrowings. He demanded that Siddaramaiah present a white paper on the utilisation of the Rs 1.28 lakh crore that was borrowed by the government. He said the Congress, like the BJP, was involved in rampant illegal mining activities, and that he would expose the same shortly.

Claiming that the convention was a grand success, he said the JD(S) will, however, be subjected to criticisms for causing traffic jams in the city yet again. "It will be better for the party to organise such events in some other district henceforth," he said.

Party supremo H D Deve Gowda said the government has hired a foreign agency by spending Rs 600 crore to advertise its programmes in the last five years. "This is nothing but a marketing government," he said adding that the party's downfall across the country was because of the "injustice" meted out to the Dalit community over the last few decades.

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