I am a party worker and public servant not a leader: Minister
‘Congress keenly observing political situation
in each State’
MYSORE: Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajasekharan on Sunday spiked rumours that he would be the likely candidate for the post of Chief Minister in case Janata Dal (Secular) struck an alliance again with Congress in the State. “I am a loyal party worker and public servant not a leader,” he said.
Even as the date (October 3) for transfer of power in the coalition Government is fast approaching, Mr. Rajasekharan’s hour-long meeting with Janata Dal (S) leader H.D. Deve Gowda has created ripples in political circles, especially among the leaders of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Addressing presspersons, Mr. Rajasekharan, who was here to participate in the valedictory function of the centenary celebrations of the cooperative movement, made it clear that there was no need to attach special importance to his meeting with Mr. Gowda.
“There was nothing special in meeting Mr. Gowda. I keep meeting him to discuss issues pertaining to development aspects. Though it is natural for those in politics to speculate, because of the fluid political situation, it is not right to attribute motives to my meeting with the former Prime Minister,” he said.
National Development Council, which met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had decided to improve food production in the country by four times to meet the growing demand. It had been decided to grow 10 million tonnes of rice in 133 districts, 8 million tonnes of wheat in 168 districts and 2 million tonnes of pulses in 120 districts. Apart from budgetary allocation, the Union Government had earmarked Rs. 25,000 crore for the purpose, he said.
He had met Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy in New Delhi to impress upon him to chalk-out a special programme to grow more rice and pulses in Karnataka and make use of the facilities extended by the Union Government. It was in this context he also met Mr. Gowda to exploit the opportunity extended by the Centre, he said.
On whether he had discussed politics during the meeting, Mr. Rajasekharan said that the Congress was aiming at winning more seats in the coming Lok Sabha elections in view of providing political stability to the country and the party was keenly observing the political situation in each State.
However, when asked whether it was right to align with the Janata Dal (S) again in the State, he said that commitment to ideology was not an important issue for political parties now. Whether he would accept the Chief Minister’s post in case it was offered to him by the party High Command, Mr. Rajasekharan said that basically he was a party worker and not a leader. He was prepared to shoulder any responsibility given to him by the party leadership.
“However, the party’s aim is to keep the BJP from power and it will become inevitable to align with like-minded parties,” he added.
On the opposition by a few Congress leaders to the alliance with the Janata Dal (S) again, he said that there was no question of opposing the decision of party High Command.