Congress candidate from Gulbarga M. Mallikarjun Kharge has accused the Opposition parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (Secular) in particular, of spreading falsehood and belittling his performance as the Railway Minister and Labour Minister.

“They [BJP and JD-S leaders] don’t have anything else to say about my performance during the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, and out of desperation they have started making wild charges against me and belittling my performance as the Labour and Railway Minister.”

He said BJP candidate Revu Naik Belamagi had been repeatedly telling that he (Mr. Kharge) had not done anything as a Railway Minister except for “running trains”. “I sanctioned 17 new trains to Karnataka in a short span of nine months, and in the 2014-15 budget [vote-on-account] I sanctioned another 12 new trains…. If this is not an achievement, I don’t have anything to say”.

The 40-year-old demand for the establishment of a Railway divisional headquarters in Gulbarga city was cleared and the Gadag-Wadi new railway line project, costing Rs. 2,650 crore, was sanctioned.

He said that apart from sanctioning a mega rail coach factory in Kolar district, another coach building factory had been sanctioned for the industrially backward Yadgir district.

As the Labour Minister, he said he introduced 11 amendments to the different labour laws, including the Bonus and Gratuity Acts, to benefit a large number of employees in the organised and unorganised sectors, and introduced the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, to help workers and their family members in the unorganised sector to get health insurance benefit.

Mr. Kharge said during his tenure as Labour Minister, 18 ESIC medical colleges were sanctioned and six of them, including one in Gulbarga city, had been inaugurated. Apart from this, a medical education complex was also sanctioned for Gulbarga.

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