Siddaramaiah believes he will remain in office for full term
It has been smooth sailing for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah as head of the government over the past one year and he believes that it will continue to remain so during his term in office, which, according to him, will be for the full period of five years, irrespective of the Congress performance in the elections to the Lok Sabha seats in Karnataka.
Mr. Siddaramaiah, after leading the Congress to a thumping victory in the Assembly elections, has had a firm grip over the government unlike in the previous dispensation of the Bharatiya Janata Party which had three Chief Ministers during the five-year term and had also run into several major controversies. True to his style, Mr. Siddaramaiah has maintained a low profile even in the first anniversary celebrations.
His close associates told The Hindu that a big celebration was on the cards after the Lok Sabha election results are declared on May 16. “We expect a good result, given the fact that Mr. Siddaramaiah is a popular leader of the masses. The first anniversary celebrations of the government will be combined with those of the Lok Sabha election results.”
The Chief Minister told The Hindu, “I’m very happy on completing the first year in office, more so, since we have implemented a number of programmes and schemes for the welfare of the poor people in particular. There are many more promises to be fulfilled and I shall do my best in implementing them in the coming year.”
Vacancies in Ministry
On the vacancies in the Ministry, which can have an optimum strength of 34, including the Chief Minister, he said, the plan was to bring about some minor changes in the Ministry and this would be done in consultation with the party high command. There were three vacancies at present and efforts would also be made to quickly fill the posts of chairman of boards and corporations, he said.
Congress sources said the party high command would be happy even if the party wins 10 or more of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the State. The Chief Minister, who led the party’s campaign here, is looking at a target of about 20 seats as that would act as a counter to any possible attempt within his party to undermine his position. It is common knowledge that there are several senior leaders seeking to pull down the government at the first opportunity, irrespective of the fact that Mr. Siddaramaiah enjoys a good equation with All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress won only six seats and the BJP won 19. At present, the BJP here is riding on ‘Narendra Modi wave’ while the ruling party is banking on Mr. Siddaramaiah and believes that Congress ruled States will hold the party in good stead at the national level.