Davengere: Asserting that he would continue to lead the government for the five-year term, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday said he would strive to make the state number one in the country in socio-economic development.
“Be rest assured that I would be the chief minister for remaining three years and work hard to make our state number one in growth and development,” Siddaramaiah said at a huge rally here, about 260km from Bengaluru.
Organised by the party’s state unit to celebrate two years of its rule in the state, the mega convention (sadana samavesha) drew over a lakh people, including Congress workers and supporters from across the state.
Terming a sudden downpour in midst of the hour-long convention in mid-summer season “auspicious” and god’s blessings, Siddaramaiah told the huge gathering that people were happy with the government as they were able to avail and benefit from its various welfare schemes.
“About 10 million below poverty line families are given rice, wheat and millet at Rs.1-2 per kg and an equal number (10 million) of boys and girls a glass (250ml) of milk free five days a week in state-run schools across the state and 2.1 million farmers are granted interest-free crop loans up to Rs.1-3 lakh,” Siddaramaiah recalled, evoking loud cheers from the crowd.
Claiming that his government was giving an efficient and corruption-free administration unlike the scandal-ridden BJP government earlier, the chief minister said the state was attracting investments in manufacturing and services sectors to create jobs for thousands of people.
Thanking the people for returning Congress to power by electing 122 of its lawmakers in the May 2013 elections to the 225-member legislative assembly, Siddaramaiah said his government had fulfilled about 100 of the 160 promises listed in the party’s manifesto.
Listing out the achievements of the last two years, the chief minister said the state government would ensure development of urban and rural areas for uniform growth across the state.
Contrary to expectations, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and party’s state unit in-charge Digvijay Singh did not participate in the convention.
“Both the party leaders could not participate due to prior engagements and their busy schedule. They have lauded our government’s achievements,” party’s state unit president G. Parameshwara told IANS on the margins.
Besides cabinet ministers, party’s lawmakers in assembly and parliament, party’s central leaders and former union ministers participated in the rally, while a few of them addressed the gathering.
Owing to model code of conduct in force for the gram panchayat polls on May 29 and June 1 across the state, the celebration has been kept low key and confined to urban area.