Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara today rubbished reports suggesting that he was appointed as the Deputy CM because he hails from the Dalit community. Addressing the media in Bengaluru, Parameshwara said that is just a matter of chance that he is a Dalit. He also thanked the people for giving the Congress party highest vote share of more than 38 per cent in the recently held assembly elections.
On Wednesday, Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy and G Parameshwara took oath as the CM and Deputy CM of Karnataka, respectively, thus ending a week-long political crisis in the southern state which delivered a hung verdict.
“I don’t think I got the post of deputy chief minister because I am a Dalit. It is by chance that I am a Dalit,” he said. The Congress, despite being the second largest party with 78 seats in the 224-chair House, is the junior partner in the newly formed government. The JD(S) with 37 seats is heading the government with Kumaraswamy at the helm of state affairs. As per reports, Congress had initially demanded two Deputy CMs from the JD(S) – one for a Dalit and second one for a Lingayat. But they had to compromise with the post of Speaker in the Legislative Assembly.
Parameshwara further exuded confidence that the Congress-JD(S) government will provide stable and good governance to the people of Karnataka. “The Congress-JDS coalition Government will surely give good governance in the coming days,” he said.
To a question on whether the two parties will contest the Rajarajeshwari Nagar assembly election together, he said, “JD(S) will support our candidate in Rajarajeshwari Nagar assembly constituency poll.” Elections in Rajarajeshwani Nagar will be held on May 28. The polling here was deferred after recovery of thousands of voter identity cards.
The leader reiterated Congress’ demand that the Election Commission should switch to ballot papers from EVMs. “Some of our leaders and I personally feel EVMs have been manipulated by BJP. Many Congress leaders lost at places even where Congress had a stronghold. We will complain to Election Commission, we urge to move back to ballot papers.”
The new assembly is slated to meet tomorrow to elect a new Speaker. After election of the Speaker, CM Kumaraswamy will seek a trust vote and later expand his Cabinet. In the current assembly, the BJP is the single largest party with 104 MLAs followed by Congress’ 78 and JD(S)+ 38 legislators. The Congress and JD(S) forged a post-poll alliance to keep the BJP out of power.