'No anti-incumbency against Congress government in Karnataka'
Bengaluru: There is no anti-incumbency against the ruling Congress government in Karnataka, senior party leader and former Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily said on Saturday.
"The Congress does not face anti-incumbency in the ensuing poll as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has inspired regional pride in the state," Moily said at an India Today conclave here.
Siddaramaiah has led the state for five years with political, social and economic stability, he asserted.
He (Siddaramaiah) inspired the regional pride in the southern state through the decision of having a separate symbolic identity for the state through a flag, which is awaiting an approval from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Moily reiterated.
"Even with all the populist programmes, the state's finances never crossed fiscal responsibilities and every programme announced has been implemented," said Moily, the Lok Sabha lawmaker from Chikballapur constituency in the state.
Anti-incumbency occurs when the welfare programmes announced for the people are not implemented, the Congressman stressed.
The state government has also decided to accord the recognition of a separate religion status on March 19 to Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats, who follow the principles of 12th century social reformer Basava, Moily said.
"Basava was a great revolutionary who gave identity to each community in Karnataka's society," he said.
Responding to a question on why then UPA government had in 2013 rejected the state government's proposal to grant religious minority status to Lingayats, Moily sternly said: "It was only deferred for want of more details in the proposal but never rejected."
The state's Social Welfare Department had on March 23 issued a notification, amid protests from several communities, terming followers of Basava philosophy as a religious minority, which awaits approval from the central government.
Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats, who worship Shiva as the universal god, together constitute the largest community (17 per cent) in the southern state, whose votes could influence the outcome of the ensuing state assembly poll.