Karnataka yearns for stable government: Krishna

March 18th, 2008 - 7:47 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

Bangalore, March 18 (IANS) The people of Karnataka are yearning for a stable government in the state, as they are fed up with the instability of the coalition governments that failed to last long, former chief minister and Congress leader S.M. Krishna said Tuesday. “The Karnataka people have seen that coalition governments lead to instability and do not last long. The fractured verdict in the 2004 assembly elections led to the formation of three coalition governments, of which one did not last more than a week,” Krishna told reporters at a “meet-the-press” programme here.

“Though the first two coalition governments, one with the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and the other with JD-S and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), lasted for about 20 months, instability was the order of the day in the absence of any programme, long-term development plans and priorities.”

Krishna, 76, who returned to active politics after a three-year stint as Maharashtra governor, has been appointed chairman of the party’s election management and coordination committee in the state in the run-up to the impending assembly poll.

Without naming or blaming any party for the sorry state of affairs in Karnataka that led to the imposition of president’s rule twice, once in October 2007 and then in November after the fall of the week-old BJP-led coalition government, Krishna said the people of the state were suffocating under a coalition government, which had no sense of direction, did not have a programme that could have been implemented on a sustainable basis and failed to address the basic problems in rural as well as urban areas.

“Hence, the Congress will go to the people for a clear mandate to provide a stable government and accelerate the socio-economic development of the state. I am entrusted with the responsibility of bringing the party back to power. I am going to campaign vigorously to complete the unfinished task of 2004, when the party could not return to power after winning a landslide in the 1999 assembly election,” Krishna said.

On his homecoming at a time when the state machinery was bracing up for an early poll before president’s rule expires May 28, Krishna said as a loyal and disciplined party man, he was only abiding by the directive of party president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to “get the Congress back to power in Karnataka” by leading the party to face the upcoming election.

“Though I never hankered after posts or positions, I consented to become Maharashtra governor in December 2004 in deference to the wishes of the prime minister and the party president. During my tenure in Mumbai, Manmohan Singh once complimented me for putting Bangalore on the global map by facilitating the growth of knowledge sector during my chief ministership (1999-2004).

“The prime minister credited me for having drawn global attention to Bangalore and how the nation was getting benefited by the growth of IT and BT (biotechnology) in the state,” Krishna recalled.

Admitting that the state’s political landscape has undergone a sea-change over the last four years, Krishna said unlike in 2004, there were more than three political forces in the fray this time and the Congress had to prepare to face them, as some of the forces were organised at the state and national levels.

Denying that Congress was not in favour of an early poll, Krishna said the party’s was concerned about the genuineness of the electorate list in the wake of about 5.8-million dubious names figuring in the voters’ list prepared during the previous government’s tenure.

Asked whether he would be a contender for the chief minister’s post again if the Congress won, Krishna said in line with the party’s tradition of going to polls under collective leadership, no particular leader would be projected as the chief ministerial candidate.

“Such decisions are taken only after the verdict. We will campaign under collective leadership with a manifesto, a definite programme and a well-thought plan for the welfare of the people. Our objective will be to first secure a clear mandate and decide on the top post after the poll result,” Krishna affirmed.

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