Forced to quit education, tend cattle, recalls K'taka CM designate Siddaramaiah | Azad Times

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Azad Times News Desk.

"I will continue to relentlessly work to ensure justice to every Kannadiga and uphold the pride of Karnataka,” says the CM designate.

Karnataka Chief Minister designate Siddaramaiah on Thursday recalled the hardships he faced during his early years. In a biographical note, he also spoke about how he was forced to discontinue education briefly and tend the cattle to tide through the tough times. After the All India Congress Committee (AICC) announced him as the Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah issued a press note about his life. "I will continue to relentlessly work to ensure justice to every Kannadiga and uphold the pride of Karnataka," Siddaramaiah said in the note.

"We are committed to implementing our guarantees and giving the best for our state," it said.

Written by Siddaramaiah, the note describes his early life. "I was born on August 12, 1948, in Siddaramana Hundi of Varuna Hobli in Mysore district. My family was mainly dependent on agriculture. In the days when getting through matriculation itself was a tough proposition, I was the first graduate in the family,” the note said.

"I spent my childhood days in Siddaramana Hundi. I was forced to discontinue my education for some time due to difficult circumstances at home and because of which I was asked to tend the cattle. But the teachers of my village school recognised my interest towards studies and helped me directly get admitted to IV standard," he recalled.

After his primary and secondary education, Siddaramaiah went to Mysore for his college education. He secured admission in Yuvaraja's College in Mysore and obtained a BSc degree. "My father wanted me to become a doctor, but I chose a different path. However, destiny had other plans as I went on to follow my own dreams and pursue law. After obtaining a degree in law from Sharada Vilas College, I served as a guest lecturer at Vidyavardhak College," the note said.

Even after beginning to practise law, Siddaramaiah said he could not completely dedicate himself to the courts. “My mind was always concerned about the hardships of the exploited classes,” he wrote. It was then that he came under the influence of socialist thinker Dr Ram Manohar Lohia. As a student, Siddaramaiah lived a tough life in a rented room in Mysore. The hardships of those times gave him a deep perspective and have now helped in formulating several schemes for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden.”

"I know what trials and tribulations the poor face. I have myself experienced those difficulties. That is why I introduced schemes like Anna Bhagya (providing food grains to the poor for free or at subsidised prices), Ksheera Bhagya (providing milk) and Vidyasiri (providing assistance for education).”

"After starting legal practice with Prof PM Chikkaboraiah, I gradually entered public life and started taking the lead to fight against social evils. My quest for social justice through reforms made me quit legal practice and jump into politics. I started taking one small step at a time in politics and started gathering momentum," writes Siddaramaiah.

Siddaramaiah’s political life began in 1978 when he became a member of the Taluk Development Board. He was also simultaneously attracted to the farmers' movement and thus began his association with Prof MD Nanjundaswamy, who pioneered farmers' struggle in Karnataka.

"My entry to electoral politics was through Lok Sabha elections from Mysore in 1980. Though I did not win the election, I was determined to continue my fight. I considered this defeat as a stepping stone to victory when I contested from the Chamundeshwari seat in the 1983 Assembly elections in the state as a candidate of Lok Dal,” the note said.

Contesting with the symbol of a scale, he won against D Jayadevaraja Urs of Indira Congress and entered the Legislative Assembly. The role of. Kempaveeraiah, a leader of Mysore taluk, was crucial in this victory. When Siddaramaiah entered the legislative assembly, Ramakrishna Hegde's government was in office.

“Hegde had taken the support of BJP and independents to form the government, and even he had extended his support to the government. I was then made the Chairman of Kannada Watchdog Committee. When midterm elections took place for the legislative assembly, I contested as a candidate of the Janata Party and was re-elected. I then became a minister for Animal Husbandry and Sericulture,” writes Siddaramaiah.

"I was Transport Minister in the cabinet of SR Bommai. In 1989, Janata Party split into two as Janata Dal and Samajwadi Janata Party. I identified myself with Janata Dal but lost in the subsequent assembly elections. In 1991, I contested in the Lok Sabha elections from the Koppal constituency and lost."

"Those were the days when I had more time for fighting against issues other than administrative work," writes the CM designate..

Undeterred by electoral failures, Siddaramaiah again contested in the 1994 Assembly election as a Janata Dal candidate where he won and entered the Assembly for the third time. He became the Finance Minister in the cabinet of HD Deve Gowda. When he was preparing the first budget as the Finance Minister, there were jibes like what does a shepherd know about finance?

"But I did not pay heed to such insults. Instead, I took it as a challenge and later presented thirteen budgets which were hailed by eminent economists. When in 1996 Deve Gowda became the Prime Minister, I became the Deputy Chief Minister in JH Patel's cabinet," the note said.

"In 1999, Janata Dal split again. I identified myself with Janata Dal (Secular). I lost the subsequent assembly election and only to win in the 2004 assembly election and became Deputy Chief Minister in the Congress-JD(S) coalition government."

"Due to altered political circumstances, I was expelled from JD(S). I lost the opportunity to become Chief Minister because of the manoeuvres of unseen hands. I spearheaded AHINDA (Kannada acronym for minorities, backward classes and Dalits) conventions in various places of Karnataka to hear their concerns and be their voice. It was always felt that minorities, backward classes and Dalits were marginalised and not given their due opportunity. I wanted to ensure social justice in all political and administrative platforms.

"After coming out of JD(S), I joined the Congress Party in the presence of AICC President Sonia Gandhi at a huge rally held at Palace Grounds in Bangalore on July 22, 2006. This was another turning point in my political path. Later, I contested in the by-election to the legislative assembly from Chamundeshwari constituency and won.

"In 2008, when the assembly constituencies were reorganised, a new constituency of Varuna came into being. I entered the legislative assembly from this new constituency. I then became the leader of the opposition.

"At this juncture, I took on the mining barons of Bellary and led an historical foot march Bellary Padayatra' from Bangalore to Bellary and exposed the corruption of Bharatiya Janata Party. This turned out to be a great success in terms of reaching out to people and letting them understand the corrupt practices of Bharatiya Janata Party," the note said.

Towards the seat of Chief Minister

In the elections held to the Assembly in 2013, Siddaramaiah says he travelled the length and breadth of Karnataka and ensured the grand victory of his party.

While taking the oath as the Chief Minister, he was determined that the government would deliver on all the promises made to the people during elections.

He decided that the election manifesto of the party should not remain a mere document, but should be the guiding light of the government. Thus immediately after swearing in as the Chief Minister, he announced several welfare programs for the poor, underprivileged and minorities, most prominently, Anna Bhagya.

"In my very first budget, I fulfilled 60 out of 165 promises made in the election manifesto. In the second budget, another 30 promises were fulfilled. By the end of fifth year, all the promises were fulfilled.

"The schemes and policies, during my tenure, have provided relief to all sections

of our society and have helped everyone to improve their standard of living. I always wanted to dedicate my work for the welfare of the poor and the marginalised and I am confident that I have succeeded in it," he said.

According to him, multiple factors led to the formation of Indian National Congress - Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government after the 2018 Karnataka Assembly elections. He was chosen as the leader of the coordination committee and tried a lot to safeguard the government.

"Unfortunately, the unethical political game plan of BJP succeeded in ending the coalition government. I was chosen as the leader of opposition and leader of Congress legislature party in Karnataka Assembly." writes Siddaramaiah.

"Our fight continued to expose the failures of BJP and ensure justice to Kannadigas. We fought extensively to highlight the 40 per cent corruption, covid scam, recruitment scams, etc.”

"We finally succeeded in putting a break to the miserable governance of BJP by winning 136 seats in the 2023 Assembly Elections.”

"I will continue to relentlessly work to ensure justice to every Kannadiga and uphold the pride of Karnataka. We are committed to implement our guarantees and give the best for our state," said the note.

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