CM asks Deve Gowda - Is it wrong for me to question, criticise PM?

From Our Special Correspondent

Daijiworld Media Network

Bengaluru, Apr 15: Joining issue with JD(S) supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda for objecting to his criticism and questioning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah pointed out that he represents 6 crore Kannadigas as CM and has every right to criticise or question a PM.

“I am surprised at your statement that a CM should not question or criticise a PM,” Siddaramaiah has told Deve Gowda in a statement to the press and pointed out that he is “extremely sorry and surprised” that a senior politician, who has all along espoused the supremacy of strong regional parties against the dominance of national parties, should “stoop to singing praises of a PM at the fag end of his long political career.”

“I don’t know what made you to surrender to the PM at your old age when you had been constantly criticising the Centre and the prime ministers,” Siddaramaiah said about Deve Gowda.

“The PM may represent 100 crore Indians by virtue of his position. But I represent 6 crore Kannadigas as CM. I will never compromise in fighting for the rights of Karnataka and Kannadigas,” he declared.

In his statement to the press, the chief minister reminded the JD(S) supremo and former PM that India is a 'Constitutional Democracy' where PM is not supreme or autocratic and the CM is neither inferior nor subordinate to the PM.

“The posts of PM and CM are governed by the Constitution and holders are both are supreme in their respective domains. The question of old age or young age or educational degrees do not count. In a democracy, there were far more senior and elderly CMs than Rajiv Gandhi, when he became the youngest PM of India. Even at that time, there were criticisms by both sides against each other,” he said reminding Deve Gowda that nobody had raised the question of PM versus CM or of age in the past.

Siddaramaiah reminded Deve Gowda as to how he had criticised PMs and attacked the in the past and mentioned that he provide him with details. “When the Gujarat genocide happened in the year 2002, the critical comments made by you against the then PM Atal Behari Vajpayee in parliament during the midnight debate in the Lok Sabha may be part of the parliamentary proceedings and can be obtained,” he said making it clear that he does not object to Deve Gowda for what he had spoken because it is all part of the democratic process.

“However, when you (Deve Gowda) attacked the then PM, Vajpayee, you were an ordinary MP and not even a CM. The question of CM vs PM and age did not bother you in the past. You were also not concerned about 6 crore or 100 crore people at that time,’’ he said.

The chief minister went on to taunt Deve Gowda about what his own son, H D Kumaraswamy, had spoken while attacking the same Modi, who was at least 10 years younger to the PM and was a mere MLA. “People have not forgotten the kind of abusive language used by Kumaraswamy against Modi hardly a few months before both of you started courting and embracing Modi,’’ he said.

Siddaramaiah taunted Deve Gowda as to “why he did not take your own son Kumaraswamy, who is much younger to Modi, not to use abusive language against the PM representing 100 crore people while Kumaraswamy was representing just an assembly segment with hardly a crore voters.”

He informed Deve Gowda that everybody has a right to criticise the Centre and question the PM when injustice is done to the State.

“This same Modi as Gujarat CM had used abusive language against one of the most decent and gentlemanly political leaders like Dr Manmohan Singh,” he said and asserted that he would always fight for the rights of 6 crore Kannadigas and attack the Centre and PM if injustice is done to Karnataka.

The chief minister said he along with all Kannadigas had felt proud when Deve Gowda became the country’s PM. The people have supported and appreciated your fights against the Centre in protecting the interests of the State, the Kannada language and land.

“If you really care about Karnataka and oppose the injustice to the State in the devolution of funds and clearance of projects, you should have been in the forefront of the struggle and people would have applauded you,” he said pointing out that he was “extremely sad that Deve Gowda has surrendered before the Centre and PM at his old age.”

“Honourable Deve Gowdaji, there is still time to mend things. By remaining silent and not raising your voice against the injustice to Karnataka in the devolution of taxes and grant of funds or approvals to projects, you might gain temporary political mileage and even your family might benefit,” he said warning that, “history will never forget your betrayal and be kind to you.”




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