JDS Will Disappear, Says DK Shivakumar on Party’s Tie-Up With BJP; Slams Centre’s Step-Motherly Treatment Towards Southern States

6 Min Read

DK Shivakumar said HD Kumaraswamy contesting from Mandya would have no impact on Congress’ fortunes in neighbouring seats. (PTI)

Karnataka’s deputy chief minister questioned the tax devolution and delay in releasing drought relief funds to Karnataka

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar is hopping from one constituency to another in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, especially with a special thrust on the old Mysuru region, where the Congress wants to counter the BJP-JDS alliance.

Shivakumar also has to focus on Bengaluru Rural where his brother and MP DK Suresh is up against a formidable challenge in the form of Dr Manjunath, the NDA candidate. On his way to campaign for his brother, the KPCC president spoke exclusively to News18 about the BJP-JDS alliance, PM Modi’s guarantee and his chief ministerial ambitions.

The BJP-JDS alliance had been a hot topic of discussion, with political pundits keenly watching whether the JDS will successfully transfer its votes to BJP and if Congress can hold on to the Vokkaliga votes it gained in the assembly election last year, especially in the Old Mysuru region. Shivakumar argues that the BJP-JDS alliance won’t work and the Congress, in fact, will gain more Vokkaliga votes this election.

“JDS has no ethical values. Their alliance won’t work. They might have joined together at national level, but it is not so easy. Some of the votes may transfer but alliance may not work. Many will join BJP and JDS will disappear. We will add more Vokkaliga votes,” said Shivakumar.

He also said HD Kumaraswamy contesting from Mandya would have no impact on Congress’ fortunes in neighbouring seats. “Kumaraswamy did a blunder by contesting from Mandya,” he added.

“What is Modi’s Guarantee? Educate me”

The Congress government has based its campaign on its five guarantees that it rolled out after coming to power in the state last year.

The Gruha Lakshmi scheme, which provides Rs 2,000 to every woman household head, and the free bus travel for women have been a hit and party leaders don’t forget to mention them in campaigns. With the BJP countering it with the ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’ slogan, the Congress state president questioned what the guarantee was.

“What is Modi’s guarantee? They were supposed to get black money from abroad and put it in Jan Dan Account that they operated. Is that the guarantee? They said 2 crore jobs for youth, is that the guarantee? They said farmers’ incomes will be doubled. Is that the guarantee? Have they been implemented? Please educate me on this,” said Shivakumar.

“South Ignored”

Apart from the five guarantees, the Congress campaign revolves around the Union government’s step-motherly treatment towards Karnataka and southern states in tax devolution and delay in releasing drought relief funds to Karnataka.

“I congratulate Nirmala Sitharaman for having agreed that there was a delay in providing drought relief. We have given the representation in time. The Union government knows the state’s situation and how the drought has affected the common man. We declared 200 taluks as drought-hit according to norms given by the Centre and then sent them a request. Home Minister Amit Shah said he will call a meeting, and PM Modi said they will release funds that they were supposed to give. Even in the last budget they assured a lot of funds. Under MGNREGA, 50 more man days had to be added. The Centre has completely neglected the state government. They are just looking at politics, not the state,” he said.

Defending his brother’s comments about tax devolution and southern states, Shivakumar argued that Suresh had not spoken about dividing the country but was trying to highlight the step-motherly treatment.

“The entire South India has spoken in the same tone. We are getting only around 13 per cent (of taxes contributed). We don’t expect 100 per cent tax contributed. We haven’t been treated well. The entire world is looking at Karnataka through Bengaluru. We should get our right. Suresh is not a mad man to speak about dividing the country. Congress has always kept the country united. The Gandhi family has kept the party and country united. He said nothing has been given to South India and Karnataka in the budget. Others are politicising the issue,” he argued.

The deputy chief minister refused to comment on his chief ministerial dreams and also hit out at the BJP, saying that the saffron party was claiming the Congress government would collapse after the assembly election just to keep its flock together.

“This is not the right time to speak about it (becoming CM). BJP is saying Congress government will fall just to keep their flock together. Nothing of that sort will happen. Karnataka has a strong government,” he said.

Share This Article
Leave a comment