KARNATAKA

Vishwanath moots panel on policies

HUBLI, JULY 24. The former Minister and a contender for the post of the President of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, H. Vishwanath, has said that a five-member coordination committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister must be set up to decide on the policies and their pronouncements.

In a chat with this correspondent during a brief halt here on the way to Bagalkot to attend the annual conference of the Karnataka Union of Working Journalists this morning, Mr. Vishwanath said that the committee would help avoid Ministers expressing divergent views on issues.

The coalition partners, the Congress and the Janata Dal (S), could nominate two members each to the committee, which should be headed by the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, he added.

`Schemes continued'

On the references made in the Budget speech of the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, about the financial management of the previous Congress government, Mr. Vishwanath said Mr. Siddaramaiah could have appreciated schemes such as the midday meals, Yeshaswini, and free education for girls, and the setting up of a revolving fund for the purchase of farm produce while announcing their continuation.

Replying to a question, Mr. Vishwanath said that tradition demanded that the Cabinet approved the Budget speech, and he was not sure why the Congress members of the Cabinet did not object to the critical comments.

Mr. Vishwanath conceded that an impression was gaining ground that the Janata Dal (S) was the dominant partner in the coalition.

According to Mr. Vishwanath, Mr. Dharam Singh, who was heading the first coalition government in the State, was under pressure from different quarters.

He said it was more important to revamp the Congress organisation than expand the Ministry.

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