JDS-Congress coordination panel to meet today


File Photo

File Photo

The first meeting of the coordination committee of the ruling JDS-Congress coalition in Karnataka will be held in Bengaluru on Thursday where the two parties would mull over a common minimum programme, senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah said on Wednesday.

Announcing the power sharing arrangement on June 1, after the assembly polls delivered a fractured verdict, the two parties had said the common agenda for governance will have salient features of their election manifestos.

Siddaramaiah, however, remained non-committal on farm loan waiver promised by the JDS in the run up to the elections.

“In a coalition government, a common minimum programme has to be drawn up. We will try and discuss about it tomorrow. After drawing the common minimum programme, the government will implement it,” Siddaramaiah, who chairs the Coordination and Monitoring Committee of the fledgling alliance, told reporters.

The committee headed by Siddaramaiah, the leader of the Congress Legislature Party, includes Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister and KPCC chief G Parameshwara, Congress general secretary in-charge of the state K C Venugopal and JDS secretary general Danish Ali.

Ali is the convener of the Coordination and Monitoring Committee. The coalition partners had announced that the panel would meet at least once every month.

Siddaramaiah, Kumaraswamy’s immediate predecessor, said all welfare programmes of his government would continue under the new dispensation.

He avoided a direct reply to a question about farm loan waiver, saying the chief minister, who holds the finance portfolio, would look at it.

Siddaramaiah, however, said the Congress was not againt writing off farm loans and that it was committed to the welfare of peasants. “We are not going to oppose the waiver of agricultural loans,” he said.

Kumaraswamy had promised to write off farms loans of a whopping Rs 53,000 crore during the election campaign.

Siddaramaiah asserted there was no discontent now in the Congress over denial of ministerial berths. It is natural for leaders to expect getting a ministerial position but that is not always possible, he said.

“The names of ministers were discussed before Rahul Gandhi, who is the AICC president. He approved the list…. ultimately it is the decision of the high-command (that prevails), and everybody should obey the decision. That is the minimum disciplinerequired in the party,” he added.