I was surprised as it was to benefit farmers: Yeddyurappa
TUMKUR: B.S. Yeddyurappa, BJP leader and former Chief Minister, on Monday, said the former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, had opposed a move to give free power to farmers.
Addressing an election meeting at the Kalidasa Hostel Ground in Koratagere in Tumkur district, Mr. Yeddyurappa said as Minister for Finance he wanted to give unlimited quality and uninterrupted power supply to irrigation pumpsets of all farmers on a “totally free basis”.
He said, “H.D. Revanna was the Minister for Energy. As soon as he got to know of my proposal, Mr. Deve Gowda called me to his house. When I went there, Mr. Deve Gowda opposed my proposal.”
Mr. Yeddyurappa quoted Mr. Deve Gowda as having told him that the National Bank for Rural Development (NABARD) would object to giving [free] power to farmers. Mr. Yeddyurappa said he had, however, insisted that the State Government could convince the NABARD as the State had the required financial capabilities.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said, “Mr. Deve Gowda told me that I should not go ahead with the proposal.”
“I was surprised at Mr. Deve Gowda’s opposition to a move that was beneficial to farmers. Mr. Deve Gowda was equally surprised at my confidence about the State’s ability to meet the related expenditure,” he said.
“I had done the homework with the help of senior officials. I had found infallible means to meet this expenditure,” he added.
Mr. Deve Gowda, however, warned him against going ahead with the proposal, he added.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said Mr. Deve Gowda was not genuinely interested in the welfare of farmers. “He (Mr. Deve Gowda) has always been working towards enabling his sons perpetually enjoy power,” he said.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said Mr. Deve Gowda had conspired with the Congress to defeat him in Shikharipur. “The Congress and the Janata Dal (S) have been lending indirect support to S. Bangarappa, (Samajwadi Party candidate, contesting against him from Shikharipur) by fielding weak candidates,” he said.
“I know for sure that Mr. Deve Gowda and the Congress have reached an understanding. Siddaramaiah (former Deputy Chief Minister) was disillusioned with the Congress after knowing about this. He (Siddaramaiah) is upset [with it],” Mr. Yeddyurappa said.
He criticised the Congress’ “Garibhi Hatao” programme and said, “Poverty of the Congress ‘pudharis’ (functionaries) has been wiped out,” he said.
He said C. Channigappa, who represented Koratagere in the last Assembly, had not developed the taluk.
It has now been reserved for the Scheduled Castes category.
Mr. Channigappa, who was the Minister, had “virtually looted the constituency and filled the treasuries of Mr. Deve Gowda’s family”.
Even the Congress had not taken any initiative to develop Koratagere, he added.
S. Mallikarjunaiah, Tumkur MP, was present. He introduced BJP candidates contesting from the district.