The Congress has decided to lay siege to the Vidhana Soudha on September 26 to “wake up” the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party from its “deep slumber”; by asking the Government to recall Ministers who have gone on a foreign jaunt; and urge it to address issues of drought, floods, and the incidence of A(H1N1) flu, chikungunya and dengue.

This was announced on Monday by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president R.V. Deshpande at a press conference here attended by Leaders of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and Council, Siddaramaiah and V.S. Ugrappa respectively, and KPCC working president D.K. Shivakumar. All current and former legislators and party leaders would prevent Ministers from entering the Vidhana Soudha and urge them to go to villages instead, he said.

Listing the omissions and commissions by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and his Cabinet colleagues, Mr. Deshpande charged them with failure on all fronts because of inefficiency and unwillingness to spend huge sums released by the Union Government under the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF), the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

Mr. Siddaramaiah said Mr. Yeddyurappa had accused the Union Government discriminating against Karnataka when he was yet to spend Rs. 170 crore out of the Rs. 280 crore released under the CRF. The Government had not formed taluk-level committees to implement drought and flood relief measures, he said. The Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan governments had spent Rs. 3,000 crore and Rs. 6,000 crore respectively on such measures during the past four years, while the BJP Government in Karnataka had spent only Rs. 600 crore, he said.

Mr. Deshpande said that 12,000 Nemmadi cards were issued in Haliyal Assembly constituency, but no foodgrains had been supplied and people were facing a food shortage at the time of Dasara and Ramzan. Many Ministers, particularly those from Bellary district, did not come to their offices in the Vidhana Soudha and the Vikasa Soudha, and did not attend to people’s grievances, he said.

Mr. Shivakumar alleged that Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Shobha Karandlaje was trying to induct Sangh Parivar elements by recruiting them as panchayat development officers, instead of making the recruitments through the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC). There were reports of examination papers for the written test being leaked, he said and urged that the process be cancelled and the job entrusted to the KPSC.

He said the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj had collected Rs. 6 crore from 1,55,000 candidates, but it was favouring Sangh Parivar elements. He pointed out that 90 per cent of the funds spent by the department was allocated by the Union Government.

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