Bangalore: The Congress government in Karnataka will complete 100 days in office on Wednesday amid firm indications that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has sought to consolidate his position from the word go.
After being sworn-in on May 13, Siddaramaiah moved swiftly to announce implementation of some of the key pre-poll assurances that the party made in a bid to strengthen the party base.
The Chief Minister announced distribution of rice at Re one a kg to BPL families, waiver of loan of SCs, STs, backward classes and minorities, higher incentive for cooperative milk producers and increase in subsidy for housing unit.
The announcements were made less than an hour after he assumed office when he hadn`t even constituted his Cabinet, raising eye-brows. "Is Siddaramaiah trying to position himself as bigger than the party?" is the question even some leaders within the Congress asked at the time.
"The government initiated measures to implement 60 of the 160 assurances made in the election manifesto," the Chief Minister said at the independence day address. "I have spent most of the time in activating the administrative machinery," he had said on August 15.
Meanwhile, stakes are high for Siddaramaiah in tomorrow`s Lok Sabha bypoll in Mandya and Bangalore Rural, where Congress victories would certainly boost his credentials ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in which he has said the party`s target is to win 20 of the 28 seats in Karnataka.