Bangalore: After a year in office, it was time for chief minister B S Yeddyurappa to pat his back and win over the masses. At the Vikasa Sankalp Utsav on Sunday to mark the completion of BJP government’s one year in office, Yeddyurappa made full use of the opportunity. He listed out his achievements, clarified on controversies and spoke on issues ranging from Operation Lotus (poaching of opposition MLAs) to his perpetual grim expression.
“I will give it in writing with my blood that I will never betray your trust and confidence,” Yeddyurappa declared to thunderous applause from the thousands of people assembled at National College grounds.
About his serious-looking image, he remarked: “People say I don’t smile. When there is so much poverty, unemployment and problems, and when people are living in deplorable conditions, how can I smile? I am not a man who can be satisfied easily.”
On Operation Lotus, he said: “Instead of 110 MLAs, if we had 120, there will be no need for what our media friends call ‘Operation Lotus’. Bypolls are due for five seats. After that, there will be no more polls.” Projecting himself as a champion of the downtrodden and his government as development-oriented, he claimed he will do anything for welfare.
TITLE DEEDS TO SLUM DWELLERS
At the venue, 9,200 slum dwellers were given title deeds and another 22,500 were promised houses. Yeddyurappa revealed that he recently directed officials to rename Beggars’ Colony as ‘Camp for the homeless’. To quell doubts about his knowledge of economics — he also holds the finance portfolio — the CM said: “Earlier, only thinkers and knowledgeable persons used to discuss the budget. Now, I have simplified it. Everybody understands what the government has to offer them.”
‘OPPOSITION SHOULD GUIDE ME’
He asked the opposition to cooperate. “The opposition should guide me and help me realize my dream,” he added. On Sunday morning, he met Union ministers Veerappa Moily and Mallikarjun Kharge to congratulate them and seek their support. Yeddyurappa said he wants a good rapport between the state and the Centre.
“I have no ego. I can go to anybody’s doorstep for the state’s development. I will camp in New Delhi from June 2 to 4 and meet MPs and ministers. I want to ensure that all pending projects with the Centre start rolling immediately.” In anticipation of criticism, he justified the lavish programme. “People may question the need for this (Vikasa Sankalp Utsav). This is being organized to submit our progress report to the people.’’
His council of ministers, Bangalore South MP Ananth Kumar and bureaucrats praised and hailed him as the best. Kumar even got the crowd to give Yeddyurappa a standing ovation.