The World Wouldn't Have Ended if Bihar Polls, Byelections to 54 Assembly Seats Were Postponed: HD Kumaraswamy
File photo of former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.
Expressing strong reservation over holding Bihar polls and by-election to 54 assembly segments in various states amid the COVID-19 pandemic, JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday said the world wouldn't have ended if the process was postponed. He warned the Election Commission, central and the state governments that they were playing with the lives of the common people, as it was difficult to maintain COVID-19 protocol like social distancing during the poll process and campaigning.
Karnataka's Sira and Rajarajeshwari Nagar Assembly segments are also going for bypolls on November 3. "… in my opinion if the Election Commission, central government and the state government had the common sense, holding legislative council polls, the by-election to 54 assembly constituencies and elections to Bihar assembly now, was not necessary..do you think it will be possible to hold elections?" Kumaraswamy asked. Seeking to know how social distancing would be ensured during the campaign, the former Chief Minister told reporters here that politicians were playing with their own lives.
He pointed out that he had developed high fever after his recent visit to Sira constituency, and is now getting back to start the campaign work after recovery. "the world wouldn't have ended, if the election was postponed for three months? In Bihar President's rule could have been imposed for six months or by having the caretaker government," he said.
Noting that by holding elections at such a time we are playing with the lives of the people, Kumaraswamy said, no one is understanding. "… we will have to go to villages, when we go there, people surround us, will all of them be wearing masks? They will not know things… leave us (politicians) aside, who willgive protection to common people, if something happens?" he asked.
"Have they thought about it? Why they declared thiselection, I don't know. We have to hold elections just for the sake of it," he added. The byelections had been necessitated for Sira following the death JD(S) legislator B Sathyanarayana in August while the Rajarajeshwari Nagar ( R R Nagar) seat fell vacant following the disqualification of Congress MLA N Munirathna under the anti defection law last year.
Apparently with an eye on sympathy votes, JDS has fielded Sathyanarayana's wife Ammajamma as its candidate in Sira, while in R R Nagar, the party has short listed three probables– party city unit chief R Praksah, RR Nagar President Bettaswamy Gowda and a leader from the Jnananbharathi ward Krishnamurthy. Responding to a question about Congress leader Siddaramaiah repeatedly targeting him, the JDS leader said, "He (Siddaramaiah) is afraid of me. He is more afraid of JD(S) than BJP- for the days to come…So he repeatedly chants Kumaraswamy and also gives me an opportunity to chant his name, by talking about me."
"Even though I think not to talk about him, he rakes it up. Should he be facing BJP or Kumaraswamy during election? Looking at his statements, it is clear that he has little bit of fear about JD(S) and Kumaraswamy," he added. Recently both leaders had engaged in a political slugfest, with Siddaramaiah stating that JD(S) was not a political party, and that it would never come to power on its own.
Kumaraswamy had sharply reacted to this by reminding Siddaramaiah that he had flourished and became deputy CM in the JD(S) and is now speaking lightly about the party.