EXCLUSIVE: Shettar confident of completing full term
Jagdish Shettar has taken over as the chief minister of Karnataka amid drama and a lot of political activity. The road ahead for him is a tough one and apart from ruling the state the more important thing for him is to keep his flock together.
Shettar, who was sworn in on Thursday as the chief minister is confident that the Bharatiya Janata Party will complete its five year term.
In this interview with rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa, he also speaks about the appointment of two deputy chief ministers and adds that the creation of these two new posts will not create any parallel force in the BJP, and governance will take place well.
There is an allegation that a huge caste factor has crept into the BJP and it has become more about appeasing the various castes rather than the people of the entire state.
The BJP does not have an inclination towards one particular caste. There are people from all parts of the state who are in the BJP. Making that into a battle between two castes is just a propaganda. The party belongs to all castes and people from all walks of life. We believe in catering to the masses of the state.
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Image: Karnataka Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar
'I have a plan for development in mind'
The biggest question everyone has on their mind is whether the BJP would be able to complete its term. The opposition is gearing up for elections.
The opposition has been saying since a long time that this government will not last. I am confident that we will complete our five-year term. The people voted for us for a period of five years and we will complete our term.
The biggest challenge for you will be to keep the flock together. Can you manage that?
I would take into confidence all the senior leaders of the party. I will be in consultation with both the former chief ministers and other seniors. There will be no scope for any misunderstanding.
Will you be the leader of the party when the state faces elections next year?
That is left to the party's leadership. I cannot comment on that now.
There is this issue that work in the state has come to a standstill in the state thanks to the never ending political activities. How do you propose to address this concern?
I have a plan for development in mind. All the developmental work will be carried out as per that plan. A lot of emphasis will be given to the backward regions of the state. Moreover, all the developmental work that was started by my predecessors will be completed.
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Image: Former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa
'There will not be any power struggle'
The party has created the posts of two deputy chief ministers. Will this not lead to a power struggle in the government?
I will handle it and be assured that there will not be any power struggle. We will all work together.
When the BJP came to power four years ago, it had become a brand name in Karnataka. Today, because of the infighting in the party, that image has taken a beating. Your thoughts?
The only priority at the moment is to get the work done. Providing an honest administration, understanding and solving the grievances of the people will be top on my list. We can regain some lost ground if the work is done without any confusion. I am confident that it can be done.
Will others in your party allow you to function smoothly?
I am confident that I can function properly and without any hiccups. I will ensure that all seniors such as B S Yeddyurappa, Sadananda Gowda and Ananth Kumar are taken into confidence in all the decisions I make. If this is followed, then I don't think there will be any issues in running the government.
Image: Former Karnataka Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda