On May13, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah completed two years in office. Reflecting on his tenure, he says that the state is way ahead of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in terms of attracting investments. In an interview with The Sunday Standard, he speaks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, governance and host of other issues. Excerpts:
On failure to attract investments.
It’s not true. We have cleared 255 projects worth more than Rs 95,000 crore generating over two lakh jobs.
On reports that Andhra and Telangana as favourite investment destinations.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are not competitors. The World Bank and World Economic Forum say Karnataka is the most preferred business destination. The WB investment climate index has ranked us as healthy business state. We are the third largest FDI receiving state.
On using the rapport with PM to get more Central funds.
I share a good personal rapport with Modi. The 14th Finance Commission has given Rs 10,000 crore more share in central taxes, but at the same time, the government has cut funds for Central schemes.
On GST’s current form.
We have agreed for the GST on a condition that whatever losses the state incurs, the Centre should compensate.
On Congress’s reported confusion over the Land Bill.
In the 2013 Act, farmer’s consent was compulsory. It is not there in the proposed Bill. I am not aware of any Congress CM writing letter.
On the revival of Congress’s fortunes.
Just because we lost an election, it doesn’t mean that Congress is finished. BJP’s economic policies and communal agenda have to be exposed. The popularity graph of Modi is sliding. We must go to people, take up the issues. And Rahul has already started it.
On Rahul Gandhi’s proposed elevation.
We require a young leader and young blood. For any party, it is a must. Our hope is Rahul. At right time, high command will decide on him.
On grading the Modi government.
It is a failure.
On marks to own government.
Of 165 promises, we have kept more than 100. I have no disappointments.