Bangalore, Jan 2, 2014, DHNS : Chief Minister Siddaramaiah addresses the media on the expansion of his Cabinet in Bangalore on Thursday. dh photo
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has claimed that his Cabinet is clean and there were no scamsters in the ministry.
Facing a volley of questions by the media on the Cabinet expansion, Siddaramaiah on Thursday sought to know the meaning of the word “tainted.”
“What does it mean? Has anybody defined it? Has any court stated that they (the new ministers) are tainted,” he asked, defending the induction of senior leaders D K Shivakumar and R Roshan Baig into his Cabinet.
To a pointed question on the corruption charges against the ministers, Siddaramaiah said nothing has been proved nor are there any complaints against them. Merely because someone filed private complaints in the courts does not mean they have wronged, he stated.
Induction of Shivakumar and Baig had caused resentment among a section of senior legislators in the ruling party. They had openly questioned the decision and expressed fear that the party’s prospects would be damaged in the coming Lok Sabha polls as the new ministers were facing charges of corruption.
Siddaramaiah further sought to know why no one raised the issue when criminal cases were registered against former deputy chief ministers R Ashoka and K S Eshwarappa. “Did they resign as ministers? A currency counting machine was seized from Eshwarappa’s residence. But no one bothered to comment,” he said. He also asked not to equate Shivakumar and Baig with former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and former minister Janardhana Reddy.
Asked about social activists’ plea not to include the two leaders, Siddaramaiah hit back saying that it was the prerogative of the Congress to induct ministers. He refused to comment on a statement by S R Hiremath of Samaja Parivartana Samudaya that he will continue to fight against these leaders.
On Santosh Lad resigning as the minister recently over the allegation of his involvement in illegal mining, the chief minister claimed that he resigned on his own.
Session in Bangalore
Siddaramaiah said the first session of the State legislature this year, which commences with the Governor’s address to members of both Houses, will be held at Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore. The date for the commencement of the session will be decided at the State Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on Friday, he added.