BENGALURU: Century on a cricket pitch or in a political arena normally calls for a celebration. But, for Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who will be completing 100 days in office on Saturday, it is hardly a time for any big celebration.
It has been a tightrope walk for the CM, who hit the ground running from day one, worked hard, almost without taking a break, but it looked as if he was a victim of the situation. The administration was constantly on firefighting mode and the CM hardly had any time to settle down in the office to chart out his vision.
On the day, Yediyurappa returned to power with rebel Congress and JDS legislators’ support, Karnataka was facing a severe drought situation. Soon things changed drastically and the new CM and the entire government machinery had to contend with the worst ever floods that hit 22 out of 30 districts.
Flood relief remained a major challenge for the CM in the last 100 days. Delay in getting central assistance rendered his government vulnerable for opposition attack. Though the CM was hopping from one flood-hit district to another trying to do his best, the central government and the party were seen as not responding to the state’s request for assistance. At times, the CM almost looked helpless and trying to salvage the situation that was hardly in his control.
On political front too the CM was facing several challenges. Much against his wishes, the BJP central leadership appointed three Deputy Chief Ministers, but even today the cabinet continues to function with half the strength. The government has only 17 ministers as against the maximum of 34. As the CM and his party wait to accommodate disqualified leaders into the cabinet, the ministers are now entrusted with two to three portfolios each, making it very difficult for them to do justice to their job.
The coalition government’s ambitious farm loan waiver scheme and other welfare schemes that required huge financial allocation, and the need to mobilize all available resources for flood relief works, restricted the new government from announcing any big scheme or even slowed down many ongoing works to some extent.
Political analyst Professor Harish Ramaswamy says the government should have done much better in the first 100 days. “They had planned elaborately to come to power, they should have planned well in terms of administration,” he added.
According to him, must-win bypolls will be a big challenge for the CM. Congress under Siddaramaiah’s leadership looks aggressive enough to put the government on the mat, though the party may not be in a position to consolidate into a force that can retain all seats in the bypolls. The CM had admitted that the bypolls are indeed a big challenge, but the party hopes to win all the seats.
Been on my feet last six weekends: CM
Bengaluru: “The best comes out of you when you face challenges. In fact, of the seven Sundays that have passed till September 9, I have been on my feet on six weekends. Visits to flood-hit areas, meeting with officials kept me busy. Besides, I gave time to Bengaluru residents, keenly listened to their grievances, and also reviewed infrastructure projects.” “People raised clamour for help due to delayed assistance by the Centre in response to the colossal loss. I understand Kannadigas’ sentiments attached to their dignity. I assure your voice will not go unheard. I sincerely thank PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, on behalf of the people of Karnataka for their support.”