Opposition Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party described Governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s address to the joint session of the State legislature on Wednesday as disappointing since it did not spell out the government’s stand on sharing of Krishna waters and a solution to problems faced by farmers in the wake of drought.

Addressing presspersons, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly H.D. Kumaraswamy and BJP Floor Leader Jagadish Shettar said the government had utilised the Governor’s address to highlight facts that are far from the truth. Keeping an eye on upcoming elections, the government has forced the Governor to repeat old welfare schemes.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said: “I have never heard such a lifeless and drab speech in the past.”

His speech contradicted statements made by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at a high-level meeting of officials on Tuesday, where the latter admitted that the implementation of several schemes was slow on account of laxity of officials. There was no transparency in the administration and the government has not taken action on the reports submitted by the Karnataka Lokayukta, he said. Instead of recruiting teachers and lecturers to schools and colleges in rural areas, the government has decided to distribute laptops to legislators to seek commission. “We don’t want laptops,” the JD(S) leader said.

Mr. Shettar said the Governor has repeated the previous BJP government’s schemes such as Sakala, Bhoo-Chetana and naming of Bangalore international airport after founder Kempe Gowda. Sakala bagged the national award on account of clear-cut procedures laid down by the previous BJP government. There was nothing in the speech to boost farm production and industrial output and the government’s mandate to create jobs was dismal, he alleged.

The former Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok observed that the Governor’s speech had failed to indicate any specific programmes in major sectors such as Home, Agriculture, Cooperation and Irrigation. The morale of the police force was down after the death of police sub-inspector Mallikarjun Bande in Gulbarga. The crime rate had gone up in Bangalore city and the government had neglected the law and order in the coastal region, Mr. Ashok said. BSR Congress chief B. Sriramulu said the Governor’s speech was nothing but a “bundle of lies”.

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