All ministers and legislators of the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition will spend at least one day every month in a village, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said on Thursday, in a move aimed at projecting his government as an accessible one.
“Ministers will take up the village stay programme. I’ve instructed all MLAs to also do this one day every month,” Kumaraswamy said, after releasing a book comprising achievements of the coalition government over the past one year. This was his first news conference in over two months since a self-imposed media boycott.
The village stay is based on Grama Vastavya, a programme Kumaraswamy popularised during his previous stint as chief minister in 2006. Kumaraswamy will resume this by staying overnight at a village in Yadgir district on June 21-22.
“I’m not doing grama vastavya for gimmicks,” he said. Asked about criticism over his stay in a five-star hotel, the chief minister said, “I’m used to both 5-star luxury and living in a hut.”
By releasing a book on the achievements of the coalition government, which has completed a tumultuous one year in office, Kumaraswamy gave himself a pat on the back.
People voted against the Congress-JD(S) alliance in the Lok Sabha polls, Kumaraswamy noted. “But going forward, we will work in such a manner that people will regret their decision.”
The crop loan waiver has been the government’s biggest achievement till date, he said. “We’ve already set aside Rs 25,000 crore for the loan waiver in the last two budgets,” he said.
The education and health sectors are the top priority for the coalition government, the chief minister said. He listed out the government’s efforts to tackle drought and rehabilitation measures in flood-hit Kodagu. He attacked BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa over his drought tour. “If not me, he could’ve shared his findings with the chief secretary,” the chief minister said.
When asked if it would have been better to have a single-party government instead of a coalition, Kumaraswamy said: “Even in this (coalition) condition, we’ve performed better than what a single party government can do.”