The former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the legislative Assembly H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday lashed out at the Congress and its vice-president Rahul Gandhi for the party’s failure to safeguard the State’s interests in sharing Krishna and Cauvery waters.

“Why is Mr. Rahul Gandhi holding consultations with the public after 10 years of his party’s governance. Are 10 years not sufficient to empower the youth and women of this country,” he said, questioning Mr. Gandhi’s interaction with youth and professionals at the Palace Grounds here last week.

The Congress, which has forgotten the country’s people for the last 10 years, has been making false promises again to seek a third term for the UPA. The youth and professionals are disgusted with the Congress’s misrule and its rampant corruption, scams, unemployment, slowdown in industrial production and anti-farmer policies, Mr. Kumaraswamy alleged.

Questioning the UPA’s contributions to the State, Mr. Kumaraswamy alleged that the Union government has been soft towards Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, but unjust to the State in allocation of Cauvery and Krishna waters. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has sanctioned a Rs. 2,500-crore drinking water project to divert Cauvery waters to nine districts of Tamil Nadu, he said.

Referring to Mr. Gandhi’s remark that “we work more, but not good at marketing”, Mr. Kumaraswamy said the Congress marketed issues of corruption well in the last five years. The JD(S) also hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party and asked its general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar to make public his contributions to Bangalore. “What did Mr. Ananth Kumar contribute to the city when he was the Union Minister in the NDA government?” he said. The BJP leader has no right to question the Unique Identification Authority of India chairman Nandan Nilekani’s contributions to the city, he said. The Congress is considering fielding Mr. Nilekani from Bangalore South constituency, which is represented by Mr. Ananth Kumar at present.No talks with BSR Congress Mr. Kumaraswamy said he has not approached BSR Congress president B. Sriramulu seeking a merger with the JD(S).

“I am ready to vacate the office of the Leader of the Opposition,” he told presspersons here. “I am not for a merger with a party that has leaders such as G. Janardhan Reddy.”

Following the induction of former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and three KJP MLAs into the Bharatiya Janata Party, the JD(S) will lose its principal Opposition status in the Legislative Assembly. Both the JD(S) and the BJP have 40 members each in the House.

He also said he had not held talks with Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, widow of the former Mysore scion late Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar. “We will welcome her if she wants to join the JD(S),” he said.

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