Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah on Thursday accused the BJP and the RSS of trying to divide the Kuruba community on the pretext of providing reservation and said the protest led by Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister K.S. Eshwarappa “against his own party” had exposed their true motive.
Mr. Siddaramaiah told presspersons here that holding rallies demanding reservation at this stage was premature. “The Kulashastriya Adhyayana (ethnographic study) on including Kurubas under the Scheduled Tribes is still going on. We had referred the matter for the ethnographic study when our government was in power,” he said.
“This apart, we had also recommended inclusion of Kurubas under the ST category in the districts of Kodagu, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, and Bidar. These things happened during our government. I never said Kurubas should not be included under the ST category,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.
On his non-participation in Kuruba rallies, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the BJP and the RSS were “indulging in politics” over the issue and holding rallies at a time when the ethnographic study was still under way was premature. He said the RSS was using Mr. Eshwarappa to politicise the issue of Kuruba reservation.
‘Don’t need certificate’
On Mr. Eshwarappa’s comment on his achievements as a Chief Minister, Mr. Siddaramaiah sought to know why he should give a report card to Mr. Eshwarappa. “I don’t need certificate from Mr. Eshwarappa. I need certificate from the people of the State,” he said.
Later in the day, Mr. Siddaramaiah took to Twitter to express his views on Kuruba rallies.
He said rallies were not needed “at this point”. In another tweet, he accused the RSS and the BJP of playing politics and said their main motive was “to divide Kuruba community”. In another tweet, he asked why Mr. Eshwarappa was “protesting against his own party”.
‘JD(S) helping BJP’
On the decision of the Janata Dal (Secular) to not contest the ensuing bypolls in the State, Mr. Siddaramaiah on Thursday said the elections were being held in north Karnataka where the JD(S) does not have much strength. “And whatever little strength they have, they want to use it to help the BJP and that’s why they are not contesting,” he said.