Popularly known as Qamar Sab, Qamarul Islam is one of the most senior Congress leaders in the State. A Member of Parliament once, Mr Islam has been a member of the Assembly for six times. Undoubtedly he is one of the most prominent leaders in the Hyderabad Karnataka region. He served as the Minister for Housing and Labour in the S.M. Krishna Ministry.
Of late Mr Islam’s image has taken a beating due to the alleged encroachment and sale of wakf property in Gulbarga. Though Mr Islam has been stoutly refuting the allegations, the controversy has been haunting him. Recently the Lokayukta police have registered an FIR against him following a direction from the High Court. Excerpts of an interview:
The Lokayukta police have registered an FIR against you over the alleged illegal sale of Wakf property.
What comments do you want me to make when already the B report has been filed in the case and the High Court and the Supreme Court have given me a clean chit.
Why is this issue being raked up if you are innocent?
There is a political conspiracy behind raking up the issue time and again. People who are jealous of my performance are raking it up to tarnish my image. But my life is an open book and like a moon, anybody can see my work (reminding that the word Qamar stands for moon). I’m a believer in service to humanity and devote my entire time and energy for the service of mankind. Mr Siddaramaiah has given me the opportunity to work and I’m doing my best. Whether I’m minister or not, I work for 16 to 17 hours a day and it’s there for anybody to see.
Your community is upset with you as you are said to be not helping them. Why such criticism when you have adopted a proactive approach?
This is done with a malafide intention because some people are jealous of my work. How can anybody level such criticism when Karnataka tops in the award of pre-matric scholarships?. This year we are giving scholarships to 10 lakh students as against 7.57 lakh last year. Does this not reflect my concern for the minorities?
There is a demand for your resignation in the wake of the FIR against you?
How many times should they ask for my resignation? Is there a justification for demanding it? False and baseless allegations are leveled against me. The court has asked the Lok ayukta to investigate the case and they will do it. I feel the question is hypothetical. Moreover so much is being written about the issue but I have not received a notice from the Ayukta.
More and more ministers in the Cabinet are getting involved in cases. After D.K. Shivakumar, Mahadev Prasad, it’s your turn now. Does it not affect the image of the government?
These issues are not connected with me and I cannot answer this question; you direct it to the CM. But I’m of the view that those leaders who have strong base will not be affected by such developments.
There is dissatisfaction over your performance as district in charge minister. You were criticized over your handling of the drought situation.
This is far from the truth because Gulbarga was the first district to complete the survey of the affected places.
But you didn’t step out of the district head quarter…
I again reiterate that this is done with a malafide intention. Because as I said earlier I work for 16 to 17 hours a day and I’m always accessible to people. I’ve started touring taluks now; last week I held review meetings at Aland and Afzalpur.
Senior Congress leader Malikayya Guttedar has demanded dropping of non- performing ministers including district In charge Ministers. Your comments.
I don’t know who Mr Guttedar was referring to when he sought the removal of non-performing ministers. It’s the prerogative of the CM to retain or drop someone.