Vijayapura: Replying sharply to the allegations of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister (RD & PR), K. S. Eshwarappa that the Leader of the Opposition, Siddaramaiah intentionally did not release the caste census report when he was Chief Minister,” alleged District Congress General Secretary Somanath Kallimani. He also challenged Eshwarappa to make the report public as it is their government in power.
Addressing media persons on Wednesday October 6, he said that Eshwarappa is misleading people that Siddaramaiah did not release the census details deliberately.
“When Siddaramaiah was the Chief Minister, the report was still incomplete, therefore, it could not be accepted and made public. During the Coalition Government, Former Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy ensured that the report was not released. Thus, Siddaramaiah could not be blamed for not making the census report public,” he said.
He questioned that now as the BJP is in power, why is the party not making the report public, what is holding the government back in accepting the report? “If you (Eshwarappa) have real concern for backward classes, and if you have guts, then make Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announce that the government will be making the census report public,” he said.
Accusing the BJP Government of only emotionally charging the OBC communities to garner their votes in elections, Kallimani said that the BJP has the history of opposing any benefits for the OBCs.
He claimed that it was the BJP that vehemently opposed the Mandal Commission Report which was reported during former Prime Minister late V. P. Singh. The report proposed giving OBCs a 27% reservation in education, but the BJP not only opposed it, it also withdrew support from the coalition government.
“Similarly, it was former Rajya Sabha member of the BJP Rama Jois who fought a legal battle against reservation for OBC in Zilla Panchayat and Taluk Panchayat. This is the history the BJP has for OBC,” he said.
Claiming that it is the Congress which made people of smaller communities Chief Ministers, he said that S. Bangarappa, Veerappa Moily and Dharam Singh, all come from very smaller communities of the State.
Kallimani, who belongs to Kuruba community, said that Eshwarappa himself told in one of the events in Davangere that he is not a Kuruba. Kallimani displayed a newspaper cutting to prove his claim.
He said that whatever popularity Eshwarappa has gained in the BJP, is not because of his personal image but because of Siddaramaiah.
Sahebgouda Biradar, K. F. Ankalagi and Guranagouda Patil were present.