Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President G. Parameshwara has been in the news recently for many reasons. He wrote to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah urging him to implement poll promises in the State Budget, even as some of his supporters have continue to demand he be named the deputy chief minister.
However, speaking to The Hindu, Dr. Parameshwara asserted that winning 28 seats in the Lok Sabha elections was his priority rather than becoming deputy chief minister.
Excerpts from an interview:
What is your assessment of the 60-days of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his ministry?
It is too early to say anything. Mr. Siddaramaiah is an experienced leader both politically and in administration.
Do the initial hiccups indicate that he is a man in a hurry?
No. All the programmes announced by him are in the manifesto and they were discussed at length and approved by the AICC. The delay in the Re.1 per kg of rice programme had some technical problems as there were many unauthorised BPL cards. Congress government helped eight lakh farmers by subsidising Rs.2 for a litre of milk, which is not an ordinary achievement.
Why were you not invited to the function to inaugurate the rice scheme?
It is protocol matter and Mr. Siddaramaiah had not ignored me.
Why is neither the AICC nor Mr. Siddaramaiah showing interest in inducting you into the state cabinet?
The simple reason is that I am not a member of either the Legislative Assembly or the Council. But, Mr. Siddaramaiah was sympathetic towards me. But I am concentrating on Lok Sabha polls. Already, observers had been deputed to the constituency to assess about the possible candidates.
Wouldn’t the proposed co-ordination committee nominated by the AICC to oversee Karnataka put spokes in smooth administration as it comprises of union ministers and senior leaders?
I welcome it. It would not interfere, but may advise on policy matters in the advisory capacity.