‘He got the hospital block razed before arranging funds to rebuild it’

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily on Friday termed N. Yogish Bhat an “irresponsible MLA” and accused him of bringing down an existing building of the Lady Goschen Hospital without applying thought.

Addressing presspersons at the Congress election office at Kadri, Mr. Moily alleged that a block of the hospital was demolished at the behest of Mr. Bhat even before securing a guarantee from the State government over funds for re-building. Finally the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) came forward to fund it. Now it was being built at an estimated cost of Rs. 21 crore entirely from the ONGC fund.

“The State government has not contributed even a single paisa towards the project,” Mr. Moily claimed.

‘False charge’

He said the allegation by Mr. Bhat that a case was pending before the Lokayutka against the Congress candidate from Mangalore City South, J. R. Lobo, was false. It is a baseless allegation, he said.

Mr. Moily said if the Congress came to power in the State funds would be brought to some more cities, including Mangalore, from the Union government’s Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) for infrastructure development.

A new vented dam being built at Thumbe across the Netravathi would be completed at the earliest.

The Minister alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was a divided house in the State with its offshoots the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) and the BSR Congress struggling for their existence.

Mr. Moily alleged that the Janata Dal (Secular) had joined hands with the BJP for its “operation kamala” (poaching MLAs from other parties) after the BJP became the single largest party in 2008 elections.

‘Unfit minister’

The Minister alleged that as Minister for Higher Education C. T. Ravi had “devaluated” and commercialised the higher education in the State by allowing 32 “deemed universities” in the State. He was unfit to be the minister for higher education.

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