MYSURU: “BJP’s campaign against me is a process to demoralise me and weaken Congress as Karnataka is the only major state ruled by Congress in the country,” said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
In conversation with Express on Saturday, Siddaramaiah spoke about what he termed as the BJP’s sustained propaganda against him in the Arkavathy denotification issue, and said his four decades of public life were blemish-free. “I am a stumbling block for BJP in its goal of regaining Karnataka from Congress,” he said.
While stressing that he is not cowed down by BJP’s charges, Siddaramaiah said questioning his integrity made him introspect on continuing in politics, and also about the degeneration of values in public life. Though some time back he had announced that he would not contest elections, Siddaramaiah said he would not run away from his responsibilities.
‘High Command Has Faith in Me’
Siddaramaiah said the BJP had intensified its campaign only after the Narendra Modi government came to power at the Centre and asked why after raising the issue in the Assembly in July 2014, the BJP had remained silent all these months if it really had concrete evidence against him.
Siddaramaiah said the CAG report had revealed that 610 acres of land had been denotified by the previous government. “From day one of assuming office, I have not denotified even one gunta of land. BJP is carrying out a malicious campaign to realise its goal of a Congress-free Karnataka,” he said. “I have explained to the party high command. They have faith in me and my government.”
He said officials were asked to look into the denotifications done in the past 5 to 10 years. “It will throw light on many issues and put Yeddyurappa and others in more trouble.”
Siddaramaiah said Governor Vajubhai Vala will not play into the hands of BJP and sanction prosecution as there was no prima facie evidence against him. “If it is sanctioned for political reasons, I will proceed legally and politically.”
Referring to the KPSC appointment issue, he said he was confident that the Governor would give his approval to V R Sudarshan’s appointment as KPSC chairman as there were many instances of politicians heading the public service commissions. He said the government will think of an alternative strategy only after the Governor’s decision.
I am a Stumbling Block for BJP, Says Siddaramaiah
Asked about Congress leaders batting for a Dalit chief minister, Siddaramaiah said that he was not against it, but added that he would complete his term. “Though the debate on this issue has no relevance now, it is my commitment to bring Congress back to power in future elections and make a Dalit the CM,” he said.
Siddaramaiah plans to hold rallies across the state to counter the BJP’s campaign and gear up partymen to ensure victory in the panchayat polls. He said that they will invite party chief Sonia Gandhi to address the rally.