No anti-incumbency against my govt, asserts Siddaramaiah

Belagavi: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said there was no “anti-incumbency” against his government and dubbed as an “illusion” the BJP’s target to win 150 seats in the next year’s assembly elections.

Responding to a discussion on north Karnataka-related issues in the state assembly here, he pointed out that this was the last legislative session of his government in Belagavi in the border district with Maharashtra.

“The kind of protest or anguish that people from this part of the state had on various issues when we held the first session of our government here is not seen today. This shows that by and large people are satisfied with the government and they have liked our programmes,” he said.

The government has lived up to the expectations of the people and fulfilled almost all its promises, he claimed, adding “We have worked with honesty to address the needs of the people.”

Assembly elections in Karnataka are due in early 2018.

Stating that normally there would be anti-incumbency against a government after completion of three years in office, Siddaramaiah said there was no such thing in Karnataka right now.

“Instead, it won’t be an exaggeration if I say that there is a pro-government wave in Karnataka,” he said.

Mocking at BJP’s target to win 150 seats in the polls, he claimed the party would get only 50 seats.

“Their target of 150 seats show that they are have an illusion,” he added.

Former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa on assuming charge as state BJP President in April last year had announced an ambitious target of securing an absolute majority by winning 150 seats in the 224-member assembly in the 2018 polls.

Pointing at BJPs loss in Nanjangud and Gundlupet assembly bypolls held in April this year, he said the party had then said its results will determine what will happen in 2018.

“If you (BJP) still want to be in illusion, I have no objection,” he said.

Speaking about the the initiatives taken by his government with regard to implementation of Nanjundappa Committee report on regional imbalance or Article 371(J) of the Constitution, giving special status for Hyderabad-Karnataka region, he said his government had walked the talk.

“I can say with all honesty we have worked efficiently towards the development of backward areas…All-round development of the state is our priority,” he added.

Calling himself a follower of Basavanna, a 12th century social reformer, who stood for social justice and equality, he chided those raising a voice for separate north Karnataka, terming it a”political gimmick” to stay relevant politically.

On the inter-state Mahadayi river water dispute, the chief minister said he would again request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and mediate among three riparian states including Goa and Maharashtra for an out-of-court settlement.

His earlier pleas seeking Modi’s intervention had not been fruitful, he said adding the issue can only be solved with the PM’s involvement.