Siddaramaiah gives zero score to BJP govt in Karnataka

Congress leader Siddaramaiah. DH Photo

As the BJP government in Karnataka is all set to complete 100 days in office on November 2, Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Friday gave a score of "zero" for Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa-led ministry, alleging no development work had happened.

Calling Yediyurappa a "weak Chief Minister", the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly said transfers, "wooing" disqualified MLAs were the main achievement of this government so far.

"Where is the performance or achievement to score, there is nothing...zero, zero," the former Chief Minister said to a question on his score for the Yediyurappa government.

He said, "There is no development work that has happened under this administration, what they have done is, one-transfers, second- made 17 MLAs resign, then they have allocated more funds to disqualified MLAs constituency while withdrawing what was allocated to Congress-JD(S) MLAs, this is their achievement."

"Is this the all-round development of the state? This is the state-of-affairs. Transfers have been happening like anything...this is their hundred days rule. Yediyurappa has to pat his own back that's all," he said adding the government was running in "reverse."

Siddaramaiah was speaking to reporters during a meet-the-press programme organised by the Press Club of Bengaluru and Reporters Guild, on the backdrop of the Yediyurappa government completing 100 days in office.

Yediyurappa was sworn in as Chief Minister of the state for the fourth time on July 26, three days after the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) government with the defeat of the motion of confidence moved by the then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy in the Assembly by 99-105 votes.

Targeting BJP governments both in the state and at the centre for "failure" in flood relief, Siddaramaiah said the party had 25 MPs from Karnataka, did any of them meet the Prime Minister on getting more relief.

"Did Yediyrappa take an all-party delegation? No, that's the reason I say Yediyurappa is the weakest Chief Minister," he said.

Pointing out that the BJP still doesn't have the numbers in the Assembly as it only had 105 MLAs in the 224- member House, Siddaramaiah said it was still short by 8 seats to meet halfway mark of 113, and the forthcoming by-elections will determine the future.

"That's the reason I have been saying, not because I have a dream to become Chief Minister. If at all Yediyurappa can't win maximum number of seats in the by-election what will be the political scenario? He may have to resign and there may be mid-term polls," he noted.

Bypolls to 15 out of 17 seats represented by disqualified MLAs, whose resignation and absence from the trust vote led to the fall of Congress-JD(S) coalition government and paved way for BJP to come to power, will be held on December 5.

On Yediyurappa's assertion that the BJP will win all 15 seats in the bypolls, Siddaramaiah said the chief minister may have such hope, but the ground reality was different.

He claimed the Congress would win at least 12 seats, and it would not be a surprise if it won all the 15.

The BJP needs to win at least six seats in the bypolls to retain its majority in the 224-member Assembly, which will still have two vacant seats-- Maski and R R Nagar.

He rubbished reports about differences between him and senior leader D K Shivakumar.

"There may be difference in opinion, but no difference in the party that may harm it," he said.

Siddaramaiah said the party's first list of eight candidates for the bypolls, announced on Thursday, was finalised after due consultation with leaders at all levels.

On the controversy over a proposal to remove a lesson on Tipu Sultan from middle school textbooks, Siddaramaiah cited newspaper reports and said BJP leaders had in the past praised the 18th-century Mysuru ruler and were doing it for political reasons, as elections were coming up. 

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