Vishwanath slams Rahul over denial of power to Dalits in K'taka

Vishwanath slams Rahul over denial of power to Dalits in K'taka

Former MP A H Vishwanath criticised AICC president Rahul Gandhi for denying power to Dalit leaders in Karnataka, while he aligned with youth leaders in Gujarat, seeking more power to Dalit and other backward community people, in the election.

Addressing a media conference, here, on Monday, he was referring to a statement of former chief minister Veerappa Moily, during his recent visit to the city. "Moily, who is also chairman of the KPCC election manifesto drafting committee, said that the chapter of the demand for Dalit CM is over. I don't know at who's insistence Moily issued such a statement. Was it Chief Minister Siddaramaiah or AICC president Rahul Gandhi? Does it mean that the chapter of Dalit leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge and G Parameshwara are over?" he asked.

Training his guns at his bete noire Siddaramaiah, Vishwanath said, the CM has snubbed all Dalit leaders in the state systematically. "The socialist Siddaramaiah had lunch in a silver plate and accepted a golden crown in Kalaburagi. The adage that 'Power corrupts...' seems to be true in the case of Siddaramaiah. He has turned into a capitalist now," he said.

"Seeing the number of 'shilanyaas' (foundation laying ceremonies) conducted by Siddaramaiah, I am worried that he will take Karnataka to the 'shilayuga' (stone age). The CM is resorting to just announcement and launch of projects and schemes. Does the recently launched Nava Karnataka Yatra intend to convert Karnataka into a debt-ridden state? The present debt burden on the state is Rs 1.30 lakh crore. Fresh proposals for Rs 35,000 crore have been submitted. Let Siddaramaiah release a White Paper to show where is the money for the announced and launched projects and schemes," he asked.

"The CM also holds the Finance ministry. He knows well that the state is facing acute deficit. Besides, there is partiality in release of funds to Assembly constituencies represented by opposition MLAs. Let him release a White Paper on the amount released to constituencies of Congress MLAs and that of opposition MLAs," he demanded.

After Moily stepped down as CM, the Congress secured only 36 MLAs. The episode will repeat once Siddaramaiah steps down, he said.

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