Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s seeming tolerance of the mining lobby and the corrupt is on test, according to S. Prasannakumar, member of the State Secretariat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

“It was a shocking to see people facing charges looting natural mineral resources, against whom Mr. Siddaramaiah had threatened action, in the latter’s house before he took oath as Chief Minister. Now it remains to be seen whether he will show them their place and ensure clean and corruption-free governance as promised to the people or allow them to dominate,” Mr. Prasannakumar said while addressing a press conference here on Tuesday.

Mr. Prasannakumar urged the Chief Minister not to induct those facing charges of corruption and illegal mining into his Cabinet, including Anil Lad, whose mining leases have been cancelled by the Supreme Court.

Welcoming the decisions taken by the Chief Minister on day one after assuming office, Mr. Prasannakumar hoped that they (decisions) would be implemented and many more pro-people welfare schemes would be announced.

“We expect him to implement the promises made to the people and give good governance”, he said adding that CPI(M) would extend its issue-based support.

Power generation

He underlined the need for the Chief Minister to accord top priority for power generation, which was very essential as the demand had touched 12,000 megawatt while the existing power generation was far below.

Mr. Prasannakumar took exception to what he termed as unnecessary restrictions imposed by the Election Commission during the just-concluded elections to the assembly. “The Election Commission’s role was more bureaucratic in nature. Though the flow of money was exhorbitant, no steps were initiated by it to curb it, but the commission imposed unnecessary restrictions and raised objections over words like ‘horata’ used in the pamphlets and also on public campaigning which was against the principles of democracy”, he said.

He said that the CPI-M had filed 18 complaints in writing and so far no action has been initiated by the Election Commission.

R.S. Basavaraj, general secretary of district unit of CPI-M, Satyababu, general secretary, district unit of Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU) were among other leaders present.

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