‘Letter to Centre on Article 371 politically motivated’
“It is a great betrayal”. This is how Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah chose to describe the letter written by the Jagadish Shettar government to the Union government stating that it was not consulted with regard to granting special status to the Hyderabad Karnataka region.
Addressing presspersons here on Sunday, Mr. Siddaramaiah, terming it as politically motivated, anti-democratic and anti-development, said the Chief Minister’s action was unwarranted at this juncture as the Bill to amend Article 371 of the Constitution granting special status to the Hyderabad Karnataka region had already been tabled in the Lok Sabha and the State government’s move would affect its smooth passage.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said the proposal to grant special status to the Hyderabad Karnataka region was pending for long and that now the UPA government had decided to bring in suitable amendment to Article 371 of the Constitution to extend special status. The amendment Bill was prepared in consultation with the State government.
Mr. Siddaramaiah took a dig at Venkaiah Naidu, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home, for moving a proposal on behalf of the State government for redrafting of the Bill.
Denying the charge that Congress wanted to take credit of getting special status to the backward region, Mr. Siddaramaiah said his party was keen for the welfare of the people and the State.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said that a letter from the Chief Minister to the Union government stating that he withdrew the earlier letter and request to pass the amendment Bill would undo what had been done. “If the BJP does not rectify its mistake, the people will not spare it. The State government opposing the benefits being passed on to its most backward region, would be nothing but height of foolishness,” he said.
Dig at Bommai
Mr. Siddaramaiah described Basavaraj Bommai as the most unsuccessful Minister for Water Resources. “Mr. Bommai only speaks and does not have the habit of putting it into practice,” he said.
According to him, even two years after the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal gave its award allocating additional water to the State, Mr. Bommai had not chalked out a plan of action to utilise the amount of water allotted to it in the Krishna basin.
He said that all the irrigation projects were pending mainly due to meagre allocation of funds in the budget. Mr. Siddaramaiah said that his party had geared up to face the election.
Mr. Siddaramaiah termed it as baseless reports that B. Sriramulu, founder of BSR Congress, had approached Congress leaders for a pre-poll alliance. “Our party will ensure that a united fight would be put up by our leaders to win at least six of the nine assembly seats,” he said.