Bengaluru: Former union minister Shashi Tharoor on Sunday said people in Karnataka were tired of “40 per cent commission” and wanted “100 per cent commitment” that the Congress party would give if it were voted to power in the upcoming Assembly election.
He also said that the Congress was prepared to tackle the “serious deficiencies” in state-level and urban-level governance in Bengaluru and the entire state of Karnataka.
“I think the people in this state are tired of the 40 per cent commission. What they want is 100 per cent commitment and that’s what we will give, 100 per cent commitment to the well-being of the people of Karnataka,” the Thiruvananthapuram MP said at a press conference here.
In poll-bound Karnataka where the Assembly election is just a month away, the Congress has been accusing the BJP-led state government of collecting 40 per cent commission from contractors, unaided private schools and even some religious institutions on the grants that they receive from the government.
Tharoor said the state was being badly governed and that the infrastructure in Bengaluru was becoming an embarrassment.
“Our message is very simple. We have seen, unfortunately, over four years now, bad governance. When there is bad governance and there is nothing to see, people inevitably wonder what they need a government for,” Tharoor said.
There were essential needs of the people that had not been met and the Congress party had already come out with a number of “very specific policies” to fulfill those needs, the Congress leader said.
He added that the Congress was coming up with policies such as ensuring that unemployed graduates and unemployed diploma-holders could get some support from the State so that they can live with self-respect while they search for jobs. He also said the Congress was planning to honour the ?Gruha Lakshmi’ — the homemakers — so that they could get some compensation for their unpaid labour.
Tharoor said the Congress “is pledging to improve the infrastructure of Bengaluru which used to be the pride of Karnataka and India but which is now becoming an embarrassment.”
?So whether it is state-level governance or urban level governance, we feel that there are serious deficiencies that the Congress government is ready and prepared to tackle,” the Congress MP said.
To a question on some Congress leaders joining the BJP, he pointed out that several MLAs and MLCs too had joined the Congress from other parties in the past few months.
“Well if you look at the Karnataka situation, five MLAs, two MLCs, 11 former MLAs, four former MLCs and one former MP have all joined the Congress, literally in the last few months. It does suggest that the people from other parties are seeing the Congress as an inevitable victorious party in Karnataka,” Tharoor said.
He, however, said he was disappointed with the Congress members who had joined the BJP, and said they could have joined a party that shared the values and principles of the Congress instead.
He wondered how they could go to a party that has the opposite set of values and principles. “That I find difficult to understand. That’s where my disappointment (lies) with some of the people who have gone to the dark side, as one might say. I think they will sadly have to repent their choices as they see how they are treated in their new home,” Tharoor said.
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