Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore
Bangalore, May 12: Ever since Congress emerged as majority party to form the new government in Karnataka, its CM designate Siddaramaih has been busy accepting greetings from well-wishers, meeting and seeking the blessings of senior party leaders, visiting and seeking guidance of Kannada intellectuals and writers.
Despite his busy scheduled, Siddaramaiah managed a speak a few minutes to daijiworld exclusively.
The CM post has made him happy, but his head is firm on his shoulders. His simplicity and straightforwardness remain unchanged.
Here are some excerpts from the interview :
Q : You have been denied the CM post twice in the past, both time by Deve Gowda, and last year in the Assembly senior BJP leader told you that you will never become the CM. Are you going to reply to them now?
No, I will never indulge in revenge politics. Whatever they did or said to me, I took it as a challenge. At the same time, I will not engage in compromise politics also. The corrupt will be punished according to the law. Becoming CM was not only my dream, but my goal. I achieved this with sheer hard work, dedication and sincerity.
Q : H D Kumaraswamy said that he has his own doubts about the success of the government under your leadership. What is your reaction?
We need leaders like H D Kumaraswamy in the Assembly. He is able opposition leader. I like to work with such opposition leaders. When the opposition is strong only then can you give able administration. For the betterment of democracy, one should have a strong opposition leader.
Q : Choosing the cabinet is a tough task. Are you done with that ?
Yes, it is not an easy task. Tomorrow (May 13), I will alone take oath. Soon after, KPCC president Dr Parameshwar and I will visit New Delhi with the list of probables for the cabinet. Once the approval comes we will announce and fix a date for oath taking of ministers. But I expect my ministers to work and take decisions only in the Vidhana Soudha, unlike BJP ministers who hardly attended office, and instead took decisions sitting at home. All ministers must attend office, and take decisions by taking every one into confidence.
Q : Fulfilling your election manifesto is difficult, isn't it?
We promised whatever we could do in the future. We have not made false promises. There is always a honeymoon period for any new government during the first few months. But I will start working on our goals right from day one.
Q : What is your first priority as CM ?
Bringing the adminstrative machinery back to work is my first priority. The state administrative machinery stopped working long back. I have to look for sincere and good bureaucrats and start my work. Providing drinking water and fulfilling electricity requirement are among my top priorities.
Q : When was the toughest time in your political career ?
Oh, I would say 2006 Chamundeshwari by-election. After getting expelled from JD(S), I built my own party, but for some reasons, I joined Congress. My intention was not to waste secular votes. During bypoll, Kumaraswamy was the CM. Both father and son tried their best to defeat me and finish me politically. Power was with them, but people of Chamundeshwari were with me. I won by a mere 257 votes. That was the worst election I faced, even my enemies should not pass through such an election. Once I won, things were different, but those 15 days prior to the election were the toughest.