Bidar: K.S. Eshwarappa, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, has that the Sangolli Rayanna Brigade was not set up to bring any particular political party to power.
“It is an organisation committed to the uplift of the deprived classes including backward classes and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes,” he said at a meeting of the brigade here on Wednesday.
“This is not an organisation to ensure the BJP’s return to power. We are here to ensure that a pro-backward class and pro-SC, ST government comes to power. But whoever comes to power, should set aside Rs.10,000 crore for the development of these groups,” Mr. Eshwarappa said.
“I have no objection to Siddaramaiah returning as Chief Minister if he can ensure the welfare of the Other Backward Classes and SCs and STs. But then, Mr. Siddaramaiah has been a big disappointment. The Chief Minister has failed in ensuring the development of these communities,” he said.
According to him, most of the leaders of these communities who were with Mr. Siddaramaiah for the past 20-30 years hoping that he would help these communities were deserting him.
Mr. Eshwarappa criticised the Chief Minister for forming a Cabinet sub-committee to study the conditions of Muslims and Christians in the State ahead of the presentation of the State Budget.
“Why did you [the CM] not think of OBCs and SCs and STs? Are they not backward?” he asked.
Mr. Eshwarappa denied the allegations that he was consolidating anti-Yeddyurappa groups in the BJP.
“Some leaders are upset with the growth of the brigade. Leaders like Mr. Siddaramaiah, Mr. Yeddyurappa and others are upset. We are not against anyone. But we are not here to play spoilsport. We are only working for the uplift of the downtrodden,” he said.
Mr. Eshwarappa said that the BJP would win the next elections.
“Then, we will strive to develop the deprived classes. When we were in power earlier, we released Rs 96 crore for the 35 mutts and religious institutions belonging to OBCs and SCs and STs. The religious leaders from these communities that I have met, are very happy about this. If they can be so happy for such a meagre amount, how would they feel if the government were to release Rs. 10,000 crore?” he asked.