Bengaluru, May 13: Into three years of Congress rule led by Karnataka's mass leader, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, it has seen upheavals and downhills. It seems, Siddaramaiah left no stone unturned to protect one of the most lucrative seat even when internal bickering and allegations of corruption surfaced.
In the first year of governance, Siddaramaiah who himself staunchly affiliated to AHINDA (acronym for minority, backward and Dalit sections) focused on upliftment AHINDA through food security and welfare schemes. It appears, he has won the hearts of these sections and a brief chat with a few mass on Siddaramaiah's leadership divulge AHINDA category satisfied with the schemes.
The educated and the upper caste are miffed over these schemes, mainly issuance of 1 KG of rice for 1 Rs for BPL (Below Poverty Line) card holders. The opposition parties in the Karnataka bought no time to term the scheme populist. This hints at Siddaramaiah led Congress government in its first year 'disproportionately' focused on AIHINDA and failed to expand vote base.
CM working towards development
Legal Advisor to the Karnataka Government Brijesh Kalappa and national spokesperson of the Congress said "Siddaramaiah is a man with the mass and has no corruption charges against him. He is steering the government in the state in right direction."
Kalappa delineating achievements of the government pointed that CM in the first year focused on upliftment of downtrodden. The second year CM worked considering the future of the state in mind. Third year he worked on Urban Development.
Kalappa stressed that there are no allegations of corruption against Siddaramaiah, and he was elected to the post of CM to the effect of BJP's rout as people were miffed by the BJP whose top leader B S Yeddyurappa went behind bars on the serious charges of corruption.
A close friend-turned-foe of Siddaramaiah, G T Devegowda speaking to OneIndia launched a scathing attack against the Congress government. Analyzing three years of government's work in the state, G T laughed and said "this is the worst government I have seen so far in my political career."
It could be recalled that G T Devegowda has closely seen Siddaramaiah as a friend and co-leader in the JD(S) party. "We all had good will and mammoth expectations on Siddaramaiah, but all went in vein," G T expressed disappointment.
Earlier BPL card holders were eligible for 30 Kgs of rice in a month, each KG costing 1 Rs, but now the distribution has come down to 4KG. This explains how committed the Congress government is in working in the direction of invigoration of AHINDA.
Pointing fingers at Congress cabinet, G T said the ministers are in sleepy mode and development in the state is in limbo. He alleged that ministers are not functioning due to which development in the state is moving in a snail-like pace. The government failed to take control of drought situation, while education department under the government is working haphazardly.
Arrogance is a trait of Siddaramaiah
"Arrogance of Siddaramaiah, as I have seen him closely from many years, is one of his traits due to which he has failed to take confidence of IAS officers working in the state government," G T opined. Siddaramaiah is no fit to CM. Albeit he worked under tall leaders namely, Ramakrishna Hegde, J H Patel and Devegowda, he does not possess a quality a CM should have.
G T Devegowda pressed on real issue that is troubling the state. The government is now saying to get BPL card afresh, one needs to have Adhar card. Due to this people are running from pillar to post to enroll for Adhar and many have been denied BPL. Why Adhar card is necessary to get BPL? Is this not an injustice to poor? G T asked.
Failure in Power and Irrigation sector
Irrigation and power sector in the state are the most badly handled sectors. Power cuts have angered the general public and laxity in irrigation has burdened the farmers. In all way, the government has failed to deliver the promises it promised for the people, especially the needy, G T observed.
In three years; haunt of trouble for CM and Congress
In 2015, trouble started to mount on CM. Internal bickering in the Congress contributed to gathering of steam of appointing Dalit CM in Karnataka. Present Home Minister Parameshwar's name tuned in as preferable man for the post.
Brijesh Kalappa admits that there was such demand to which Sonia Gandhi did not concede. Siddaramaiah, however, succeeded in gaining the trust of Congress high command and convincing Gandhis. In 2016 also after S M Krishna met Sonia Gandhi, rumors were rife that planning of changing the CM in Karnataka is in the offing.
No change in CM
But Brijesh Kalappa says there is no question of changing the CM as Siddaramaiah is working for betterment of the state. Sonia Gandhi is always averse to mid term change of CM position and she has not done so in any state in her 17 to 18 years of career. He said any change will have devastating impact on the Congress.
The Congress party found itself in soup, when question papers of PUC Chemistry examination were leaked twice. General public were angered over the mishandling of the examination and the impact likely to loom over 2018 assembly polls.
Siddaramaiah's son Dr Yathindra too gave an opportunity for the opposition to reap political benefits. Allegations of conflict of interest was leveled against the CM after a private diagnostic firm, Matrix Imaging Solutions Pvt Ltd to which Yathindra was a director bagged a tender to establish a lab at Bangalore Medical College Research Institute. Siddaramaiah resorted to damage control mode by his son resigning from the post of director.
A watch of Siddaramaiah led Congress rule
Hublot, a wristwatch worth Rs 70 lakhs of the CM hit the headlines after JD(S) leader and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy raked up the issue. While the opposition demanded the resignation of CM, here too CM left no stone unturned to protect his CM seat. Siddaramaiah, famously known for his socialist background and who received a costliest wristwatch gift returned the watch to state and secured the post thus pacified the controversy.