Special Correspondent

‘Karnataka is suffering because of the Union Government’s attitude’

Genuine demands of State neglected: Chief Minister

‘Tie-up with BJP hasn’t dented JD(S) image’

DONGAON (GULBARGA District): Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Wednesday charged the Union Government with giving preferential treatment to States like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh while neglecting the genuine demands of Karnataka.

Addressing presspersons here after a night halt at the Government Higher Primary School, Mr. Kumaraswamy said Karnataka’s interests continued to be affected. Its projects suffered due to the failure of the State to create a political pressure group at the Centre.

He said the State had got a raw deal, whether it was clearance for irrigation projects or getting funds for providing relief to people affected by natural calamities. Compared to the assistance provided to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, what Karnataka got as its share was very less, he said.

Replying to questions if he would lead an all-party delegation to New Delhi to seek amendment to Article 371 for providing reservation in education and jobs for people in the backward regions of the State, the Chief Minister said though several delegations were taken to Delhi, the Centre did not seem to be keen on conceding the demand.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said there was no point in taking delegations to Delhi as such an exercise had become ineffective. “There has been no impact on the Centre at all,” he said.

Power transfer

To a question on power transfer, the Chief Minister said, “wait till October 3. I will have answers to all your queries.”

He said the media should not concentrate only on the power transfer issue; they should focus on other issues as well, he said.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said he did not regret aligning with the BJP.

Initially, there were apprehensions on what such a decision would have on the secular image of the Janata Dal (S). But the party had maintained its secular credentials and protected the interests of minorities, he said.

However, the Chief Minister said there was some truth in the claims that the coalition arrangement had helped the BJP to gain some strength in the State.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said there was no question of the party reviving its relations with the Congress.

However, the Chief Minister remarked, rather philosophically, that there were no permanent enemies or friends in politics.

He said there were several instances of political parties switching alliances. He cited the case of DMK in Tamil Nadu which was part of the National Democratic Alliance Government headed by A.B. Vajpayee and later became part of the United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre.