New Delhi: Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi wants the new Congress government in Karnataka to address concerns of all sections, particularly Dalits and adopt a balanced approach, fiscal prudence and quick delivery on governance.
This was conveyed to newly appointed Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Congress President G Parameshwar when they called on her in New Delhi. Sonia Gandhi told Parameshwar that the party high command was fully aware of the dalit community’s support to the Congress and that all their issues should be addressed by the new Congress government. The Congress President wanted Parameshwar and the other dalit leaders to assuage the community in this regard.
Parameshwar, a senior dalit leader in the Congress party said that the Congress’ next plan was to ensure quality governance and avoid the pitfalls of the previous BJP regime. “Power, irrigation and infrastructure are our priorities. We will not tolerate corruption. The new government’s performance would be very important in this regard,” he said. Parameshwar, who is credited alongwith Siddaramaiah for the Congress’ success in Karnataka, said he had explained all the political situations in Karnataka to Sonia Gandhi. The Congress is looking at bagging at least 20 of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the coming general polls. The Bharatiya Janata Party had won 19 seats.
As for Siddaramaiah’s professed brand of social engineering that is loaded in favour of the minorities, other backward classes and dalits, Parameshwar drew attention to the fact that 29 of 44 lingayat candidates had won and 18 of 44 vokkaliga candidates were elected. “We have 47 candidates belonging to two major sections and we will address all concerns,” he said.
Parameshwar said, “The Congress party and chief minister do care for all sections, including dalits. That is the approach of the Congress party. As the chief minister, Siddaramaiah will be caring for all people. He has to deliver. The Congress president is clear on what our approach should be.” On Siddaramaiah’s announcement of Rs. 4,000 crore worth sops before the ministry has been formed, Parameshwar said, “the CM’s announcement is in tune with the promises made by the Congress. Some leaders thought that it could have come after the new cabinet met. But that is no issue.”
State Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, are also scheduled to meet Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.