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Senior Cong ministers should quit, make way for young MLAs: Dr. K. Sudhakar, MLA (Cong), Chikkaballapur

Second-time Congress MLA Dr.K.Sudhakar (Chikkaballapur) is among the handful of MLAs the party is struggling to win over.

, ET Bureau|
Jun 16, 2019, 11.53 PM IST
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It is sad that our leaders often talk of giving representation to MLCs in the Cabinet, says the Chikkaballapur MLA.
BLURB: The Legislative Council (Upper House) is a white elephant, and i don’t know how it is benefiting our State. They can play an advisory role and provide inputs to the Assembly, but why representation in the Cabinet?

Second-time Congress MLA Dr.K.Sudhakar (Chikkaballapur) is among the handful of MLAs the party is struggling to win over. The 44-year old MBBS graduate, with a corporate stint before, has often put his leaders in a tight spot with blunt comments. In a chat with ET’s KR Balasubramanyam, he says senior Ministers should voluntarily give up their posts and, rebuild the party. Edited excerpts:

How do you see the JD(S)-Cong regime in Karnataka?
The coalition government is facing a crisis because of political instability on account of displeasure among the MLAs from both Congress and JD(S). Senior (Congress) leaders, who are ministers whenever the party is in power, must acknowledge the crisis, sacrifice their posts, and dedicate themselves to rebuilding the party. A few leaders, who were ministers before, remain ministers even now. They should voluntarily give up their positions, and make way for worthy youngsters. That will bring about some sort of political stability to the government.

The JD(S) and Congress suffered major setback in the recent polls despite programmes like crop loan waiver...
The JD(S)-Congress coalition regime is implementing many programmes including loan waiver, but they have not benefited both parties because the political crisis has taken Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s attention away from governance. His time goes to managing political crisis everyday. Governance and development will suffer as long as political instability haunts the CM.

Can you explain how it has hurt development?
For instance, investors will not come to a state that is fighting political instability. Without investment, where is new economic activity or job creation, or fresh funds for development? Secondly, bureaucracy will not be proactive in such a climate. Leaders of both Congress and JD(S) should put their heads together and do serious corrections. Just cosmetic changes won’t help.

Not just MLAs, some MLCs are also unhappy...
It is sad that our leaders often talk of giving representation to MLCs in the Cabinet. The Legislative Council (Upper House) is a white elephant, and i don’t know how it is benefiting our State. They can play an advisory role and provide inputs to the Assembly, but why representation in the Cabinet?

Each MLC gets as much fund as an MLA for area development. They (MLCs) don’t have a constituency. Let the government evaluate what they have done with the funds allocated to them. It is worthy of a research. My Chikkaballapur constituency with 400 plus villages and one district headquarters, for instance, gets Rs 2 crore per year. Is this sufficient for the entire year? For everything, people run to their MLAs, and hold them to account, not MLCs. Sadly, an MLA is expected to do everything today except his core job of law-making. We hardly get time to read and understand issues in depth. The result: The State budget worth Rs 2 lakh crore was passed with little or no discussion in the Assembly.

Did you expect to be made a minister?
Yes. I obviously did. I thought my leaders had recognised my merits, and my performance both in the Assembly and the party. AICC president Rahul Gandhi had cleared my name for Pollution Control Board, but I did not get that for reasons not known to me.

What is your next move? Will you join the BJP?
I am optimistic things should improve in the Congress. I, however, will need to take sensible and rational decisions about my political future. I will of course consult people in my constituency and my party leaders before taking the final call.
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