Karnataka

MLC election: Siddaramaiah says BJP, JD(S) opposed to social justice

A file photo of Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

 

Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah said that the allocation of party tickets to candidates for the elections on December 10 to the Legislative Council from local bodies underlined the party’s commitment to social justice.

He questioned the credentials of the BJP and the Janata Dal (Secular) in strengthening the local bodies or promoting social justice.

“Both the BJP and the JD(S) are not committed to the concept of social justice, which is a deep-rooted value in the Congress. This was evident in the number of candidates from socially backward groups who are being fielded by the party,” he said in Mysuru on December 8. “Though Narendra Modi has been in power since 2014, nothing has been done to strengthen the local bodies by way of devolution of power or increase in financial allocation.

“The Congress introduced the 73rd and 74th amendments to give constitutional status to panchayati raj institutions and the urban local bodies besides mandating elections once in five years. Voters in the forthcoming polls should be aware of this,” said Mr. Siddaramaiah.

The 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution paved the way for empowering socially and economically marginalised section who got political representation and social emancipation. But the BJP had opposed the move with then BJP MP Rama Jois filing a petition in the Supreme Court questioning the move, said Mr. Siddaramaiah.

The BJP had used the pending exercise of delimitation and reservation as a ruse to postpone elections to taluk and zilla panchayats in Karnataka and asked if such a party had any moral right to seek votes from members of local bodies. The act of questioning the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments underlined the BJP’s lack of commitment to social justice, said Mr. Siddaramaiah.

The administration under the BJP has reached a nadir as corruption was high, alleged Mr. Siddaramaiah and cited the letter by the contractors’ association president Kempanna that 40% commission is the norm in government projects.

“Farmers in Karnataka are in dire straits following crop loss in over 6 lakh acres, but no relief is in sight. The State Government has not announced any compensation or relief,” he added.

Anti-conversion law

Mr. Siddaramaiah lashed out at the BJP for the proposed anti-conversion law. The BJP had failed to deliver on all counts, unemployment is high and prices of essential commodities are rising. Hence, the party introduced the anti-conversion law to divert public attention from real issues, he added.


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 9:14:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mlc-election-siddaramaiah-says-bjp-jds-opposed-to-social-justice/article37893675.ece

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