- Chief Minister Siddaramaiah cancels all his scheduled programmes to participate in the party's three day meeting
- His cabinet colleagues and MLAs have been asked to set their differences aside and fight the 2018 polls unitedly
- Opposition condemns the Congress for its "misplaced priorities"
Ministers of the Siddaramaiah cabinet have been asked to make party work their priority for the next nine months - of course, after they tend to the government work. The latter part of the statement however comes as an afterthought.
This was the message given by K C Venugopal, AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka, to the party leaders of the State on Thursday. Venugopal, who met with leaders and workers of all districts for the last three days, told the media in Bengaluru that the party was doing everything in its capacity to retain power in Karnataka.
As if to emphasise on the party’s seriousness in this regard, Venugopal gave the example of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who he said had “cancelled” all scheduled meetings/programmes to participate in the three day meet.
“The Chief Minister has cancelled all scheduled programmes and sat in the KPCC office imparting solutions to all the problems aired by the district leaders and workers. There are some differences in some districts, but they have been addressed. We have given a strong message that there should be unity. Ministers have been directed to spend more time in their constituencies - of course they have business in the government secretariat, they should tend to the files also,” he said.
Further, he said that MLAs too should spend more time in their respective constituencies. “Majority of the MLAs are doing well, but they should focus more on their constituencies for the next nine months and build strong affiliations with the people,” he said. Venugopal also directed the ministers and legislators to ensure that all government welfare schemes reached the beneficiaries without fail.
Venugopal’s statements come at a time when the opposition parties have labelled the Siddaramaiah led government as a “non-performer”. The BJP has missed no opportunity to criticise the government, especially with regard to the drought situation.
BJP spokesperson Suresh Kumar said that Venugopal’s direction was “like a song to the minister’s ears”. “They have been doing the exactly the same thing all these years. None of the ministers are inspecting or reviewing the districts. They are all only concerned about their constituencies. They think that their constituency is their entire State.”
Kumar said that the Congress was already feeling jittery. “Congress is on a weaker wicket. Maybe their surveys have indicated that they are on a losing ground, and hence this direction. Venugopal has miserably failed to see that this kind of direction will make the State suffer. There are many serious issues - ministers should be working on a war footing to alleviate the sufferings of the people. Unfortunately, such is not the case,” he added.
Venugopal also said that the party would initiate disciplinary action against leaders or workers who publicly criticise the party or their colleagues. However, when asked if the party would take disciplinary action against party leader Vishwanath for his anti party activities, Venugopal said, the party would “wait and watch”. Vishwanath, one of the strongest critics of Siddaramaiah, is all set to quit the party and join the JD(S) in June.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:03 PM IST