BENGALURU: Just two months before the state assembly election, now Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had promised auto drivers that one of their representatives would be nominated as a Member of Legislator Council (MLC) within a month, if his party, JD(S), came to power and he became the CM. He did become the CM, and his party did ‘come to power’. But, he seems to have gone back on his promise owing his predicament of a coalition with Congress.
In February this year, while interacting with autorickshaw and cab drivers at Town Hall here, Kumaraswamy had said, “Please support JD(S) and give me a chance to become CM and I will make sure one of you will enter Vidhana Soudha.” He took oath on May 23 , but there is no sign of him keeping his promise.
T A Saravana, JD(S) MLC, told TNIE that as it was a coalition government, the promise could not be kept. “If we had formed the government on our own, he (Kumaraswamy) would have definitely done it. But people gave a mandate of only 37 seats to JD(S). So, we cannot nominate any autorickshaw or cab driver as MLC. We will review and consider it later,’’ he said. A JD(S) leader said,“We came to power, but many outside the political field helped us. There is pressure on JD(S) to nominate influential people. So an auto driver cannot be nominated at least for now.”
BJP state spokesperson S Prakash said Kumaraswamy is known to make announcements and then fail to fulfil those. He had also promised waiving farm loans within 24 hours of taking charge. But that did not happen, he said.
Calling it a political gimmick, Manjunath, president, Adarsha Auto and Taxi Drivers Union, said, “Even if they had won with a majority, they would still have nominated a rich, influential person who could help fund their party. After all, we are autodrivers, who will be of no help to them,’’ he said.
Waiving farm loans
Making a Muslim the DyCM
Making an autodriver an MLC