How about the Rs 10 crore, mr Gowda?
How about the Rs 10 crore, mr Gowda?
A humungous amount of money was spent on Monday’s rally. Can the JDS, which harps so much on rustic values and transparency, provide a detailed breakup of who contributed to the war chest?
Niranjan Kaggere and Suchith Kidiyoor
Posted On Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Deve Gowda and HD Kumaraswamy’s JDS spent close to Rs 10 crore on Monday’s rally. Now, where did they get that kind of money from?
At the rally, father and son had indeed gone on and on about Barack Obama and how he was an inspiration for them. Really?
More than 600 million dollars were spent in Obama’s campaign, yet every single dollar was accounted for - from expenditure on Starbucks coffee to Domino pizzas. Obama founded his campaign on keeping special interests at bay.
“They have not funded my candidacy, and they will not run my White House,” he said repeatedly. Is the JDS ready for similar transparency?
We wanted to hear it from the horse’s mouth, so we asked former CM and JDS president Kumaraswamy himself. His answer was a mixture of evasion and self-righteousness. “Many have asked that they [JDS] are not in power and how they could organise such a mega rally? But various party workers who are well settled and helping the leaders to build the party at various levels, have organised according to their capacity. It was entirely a party workers arrangement.”
‘Well-settled party workers’, now, that should be the euphemism of the year! We all know the money bags behind the farmers’ party and our only other query is did they pay in cash or cheque?
PASSING THE BUCK
Being the deft politician that he is, Kumaraswamy went on to blame the government for failing to make proper arrangements despite knowing about the rally, and thereby causing so much hardship to Bangaloreans.
Reacting strongly to the comments made by various corporate bigshots that JD(S) could have arranged the rally either in Ramanagaram or in Holenarasipura, Kumaraswamy said, “If a day’s inconvenience has annoyed these people so much, then I request them to visit our villages one day and understand the plight of villagers. Do not these village farmers have a right to come to the capital to protest against the failures of the government?”
Referring to the media’s coverage of Monday’s situation, he added, “Village people have been battling so many problems and none have opened their eyes to those problems. But a day’s inconvenience to city people has become so important for everybody.”
CITY VS VILLAGE
Kumaraswamy was in no mood to apologise for Monday’s traffic snarls, except for passing reference to the inconvenience caused to school going kids. “I understand the inconvenience caused to them. But still, having walked a little distance, that too for a day, there is no need for a greater discussion. Today, even after 50-years of independence, children in villages travel seven to eight kilometres everyday to attend class. Have we ever talked about this? Let city people understand the reality and plight of rural children too,” he fumed.
He couldn’t restrain himself from coming back to his pet peeve about the ‘insensitivity’ of the IT sector. “People who give these comments never turn out to vote during elections and what right do they have to comment. In fact they are the real reason behind the pathetic situation of of the country,” he said.
“When people from different parts of the state come on their own to express their anger against the government to the capital, then where else should those people go? Bangaloreans withstand the traffic jam for several hours when all of them go to the same Palace Grounds to dance for some music bands and other entertainment programmes,” he added.
NOT OUR FAULT
On the organisational part of Monday’s mega rally, Kumaraswamy said, “We have organised everything according to the law, rules and regulations framed by the government. We have paid security fees to the city police for providing us the security, taken permission from the DPAR and publicised about the possible inconvenience to city people through the media and television channels. If any damage has happened, government should be held responsible for failing to put things on track.”
WHY BANGALORE, WHY MONDAY?
Clarifying the party’s decision to hold the rally at the Palace Grounds, Kumaraswamy said, “We tried our best to find out places in the outskirts of the city. We saw a few places near Devanahalli but they were not convenient enough to hold a massive rally and so we finalised on Palace Grounds. Monday was chosen because it is the day when farmers do not work in fields as they usually plan to attend the weekly trade fair. Generally, not much agricultural activities happen on Monday so we had the rally on Monday facilitating the large participation of farmers.”