The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Krishna hints at Cabinet reshuffle

Bangalore, Jan. 1 (PTI): Karnataka chief minister S.M. Krishna today hinted that he might restructure his three-year-old ministry to “sharpen the governance to meet people’s aspirations”.

“The people will gauge a government by how fast and meaningfully it works. The ministry reconstitution is a continuous exercise,” Krishna (picture below) said. Initiatives to fine-tune the administration would begin soon, the chief minister declared.

When asked whether he had decided on restructuring the ministry, the chief minister said: “I don’t hold the crystal ball. Your guess is as good as mine.”

He quickly added: “Very soon a new president will be appointed to the state Congress unit. The time is ripe for this, I feel.”

The AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka affairs, Vayalar Ravi, has already announced that a new PCC president to replace Allum Veerabhadrappa would be appointed by the second week of this month.

Krishna said he would also begin reviewing the performance of various departments, but refused to brand the exercise as an “examination or test” to assess any minister. He said all his ministerial colleagues were capable of delivering the goods.

Warning of tough days ahead, the chief minister said, “Let us start with a note of optimism, hope and self-confidence.” He assured that there would be no let up in the crusade launched by his government on corruption.

Krishna said he awaited the decisions of the All India Lokayukta Conference to be held here to initiate steps to strengthen the state Lokayukta.

Regarding the steps proposed by him to ease the relationship with Tamil Nadu strained over the Cauvery issue last year, Krishna’s reply was cryptic: “If it rains well, it automatically improves. I hope this year the state will receive good rains.”

On the Opposition’s attempts to “politicise” the Veerappan issue, Krishna said politics must be segregated from the operations of the forest brigand. “I hope such a measure will find enough reciprocity among the people also.”

Krishna said out of the Rs 1,200 crore loan the state had asked for to carry out various development projects, it had received less than 50 per cent of disbursements from the World Bank and the remaining were in the pipeline. He said the state is ready to implement the VAT regime.

Secretaries of various departments today called on the chief minister to exchange New Year greetings. Krishna asked them to review the progress made in the various development works undertaken by their departments.

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