Wednesday, May 27, 2009



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FOCUS B The country’s tallest tower? A state selfsufficient in power and water. Lakes that breathe. Green parks where children play, the old soak in the peace and quiet.

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s to-do list as he commences his second year in office as head of the southern state that has changed the BJP’s cachet of being a North Indian party, is long and impressive.
Speaking exclusively to Deccan Chronicleduring a visit to the newspaper’s offices in Karnataka’s capital, days ahead of his government’s first anniversary that coincides with this newspaper’s first year celebrations, Mr Yeddyurappa said,“My focus will be Bengaluru.” “There is so much that has to be done.We must make Bengaluru a world class city.The opposition has been criticising me, but judging by the parliament polls where we won 19 seats, and our party’s voting percentage went up from 34 per cent in the 2008 Assembly elections to 42.37 per cent, the people have spoken, they have backed us,” the Chief Minister said.

“With 19 MPs in Parliament, we will fight for what is rightfully Karnataka’s,” he said, adding he had already spoken to the two Union ministers from Karnataka, foreign minister S.M. Krishna and M.Veerappa Moily. “I sought their guidance for the development of the state.We are expecting things to move.”Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who visited Deccan Chronicle on Tuesday on its first anniversary refuses to start his second year in office on a negative note.

Reminded of his statement to the Opposition leaders in the state Assembly that he would ensure that they would sit in the Opposition benches permanently has almost become a reality, a smiling Yeddyurappa said, “Now, I will not speak in that tone. I will be nice to them as I need their support for developing the state.” Clearly, this is a Mr Yeddyurappa, extremely conscious of the fact that the Congress-led UPA is ruling at the Centre and must tread carefully to extract as much as he can for the development of the state.

“Let me not say anything negative,” Mr Yeddyurappa said, when asked what kind of trouble he would anticipate during the second year of his tenure.

On a more positive note, he said that 90 per cent of greenery of the present Race Course would be retained. But on about 200 sq. ft of the area a tall building would come up which would be a tourist attraction to all. The proposed tall building in the present race course would be tall enough to provide a panoramic view of the city.

“The present licence of the Turf Club would end by December this year. The licence would not be renewed. All the racing activity of the Bangalore Turf Club can be shifted to Mysore. That way, no one would be affected," he said.

He added in a lighter vein that sooner the race course is shifted the better for his administration. Vidhana Soudha being close by, most of the officials would be rather in the race course than in the secretariat, he quipped.

A recent photo of his playing cricket with his granddaughter at his official residence revealed how relaxed he was after his party’s victory in the state to the Lok Sabha. “For 45 days, I campaigned, addressing seven to eight public meetings daily," Mr Yeddyurappa said.When pressed on who was his favourite daughter of the three, and whom he gushes about frequently, he quipped: “They are taking very good care of me now.

You want to spoil it by playing favouritism among them? I wont even get a cup of tea then.”


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