Mysuru, June 6:- Terming the BJP’s concern for the downtrodden and deprived a lip sympathy, former chief minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday slammed the party for not making any of its 5 newly-elected Lok Sabha members from the state a minister in the NDA government.
“Though the BJP won all the 5 parliamentary seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) and two for the Scheduled Tribes(ST) in the state, none of them was included in the 58-member NDA government. It shows how much the ruling BJP cares for Dalits,” tweeted Siddaramaiah in Kannada.
Of the 28 Lok Sabha seats in the southern state, the BJP won 25 of the 27 seats it contested, while the Congress and its coalition ally in the state Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) faced rout, winning only one seat each.
An Independent (Sumalatha Ambreesh), backed by the BJP, won one seat (Mandya) in the old Mysuru region, about 100km southwest of Bengaluru.
“Instead of talking big about uplifting Dalits, the BJP should show it in deed than only talking. Not one Dalit MP from the state was included in the Union cabinet,” tweeted Siddaramaiah.
Taking umbrage to Siddaramaiah’s sarcastic remarks, the BJP’s state unit was quick to rebut by asking him to make senior Congress leader and a Dalit Mallikarjun Kharge the state’s chief minister if he had so much love for Dalits.
“Twitter Ramaiah, make Kharge the chief minister if you care for Dalits so much. You prevented Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, also a Dalit, from becoming chief minister last time. Don’t just tweet. Show your care and concern for Dalits in action,” retweeted BJP in response to Siddaramaiah’s tweet.
Kharge, a two-time Lok Sabha member, lost to BJP’s Umesh Yadav from Gulbarga reserved seat in the recent general elections in the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took 4 lawmakers from Karnataka into the Union Council of Ministers on May 30, including three newly-elected Lok Sabha and one (Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman) from the Rajya Sabha from the state.
The three Lok Sabha members are Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers D.V. Sadananda Gowda from Bangalore North, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi from Dharwad and Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi from Belgaum in the state’s northwest region.
Gowda belongs to the politically dominant Vokkaliga community and Angadi hails from the powerful Lingayat community while Joshi and Sitharaman are Brahmins.
“Representation to members of all castes and communities from across the country will be given on merit when the cabinet is expanded, keeping in view the constitutional limit and coalition compulsions,” a party spokesman said.
The Central Government can have only 15 per cent or 82 of the 543-member Lok Sabha as ministers. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).