Former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Wednesday accused the erstwhile Siddaramaiah government of ‘leaking’ the caste census report during its tenure instead of accepting it.
It had done so to score political points, the JD(S) leader said. If the Congress leader had respect for different castes, the caste census report would have been accepted during his tenure itself, Mr. Kumaraswamy said while speaking to reporters in Mysuru.
Mr. Siddaramaiah had accused Mr. Kumaraswamy of blocking the submission of the caste census report during the tenure of the coalition government. Mr. Siddaramaiah has claimed that the caste census, which he had ordered,was not ready by the time his tenure at the helm concluded. Though it was ready when Mr. Kumaraswamy succeeded him as Chief Minister, the JD(S) leader warned the then Backward Classes Minister against accepting the report, Mr. Siddaramaiah had alleged.
Mr. Kumaraswamy on Wednesday also claimed that Mr. Siddaramaiah presently had no issue other than the caste census, which he keeps raising repeatedly.
To questions on former Minister and Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency’s JD(S) MLA G.T. Deve Gowda’s decision to join the Congress, the JD (S) leader said Mr. Gowda had moved away from the party two years ago.
When it was brought to his attention that Mr. Gowda had blamed him and former Minister S.R. Mahesh, he sought to know why Mr. Gowda was upset in 2008 when he quit the JD(S) and joined the BJP. “With whom was he upset in 2008? Why did he return to the party fold later?”, Mr. Kumaraswamy said before describing Mr. Gowda’s situation as a case of “sour grapes”.
However, Mr. Kumaraswamy sought to make it clear that the party had not asked anybody to quit nor has any injustice been done to anybody.
Asked if he would prevent Mr. Gowda from quitting the party, the JD(S) leader said it was not in his hands. “Whoever believes in the organisational work of the party will be welcomed wholeheartedly. The doors of our party are more open than other parties. People who want to come are welcome, and people who want to leave can go”, he remarked.
However, Mr. Kumaraswamy said he was grateful to Mr. Gowda for acknowledging that it was he (Mr. Kumaraswamy) who took him to former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda that led him to eventually find a place in the State’s cooperative sector.
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