With the clearing of confusion over who would get the portfolio of Rural Development and Panchayatraj (RDPR) after Jagadish Shettar assumed office as Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister K.S. Eshwarappa, who holds the portfolio, on Monday said he had decided to take up recruitment to the posts of technical officers, assistants and computer operators.

Speaking to presspersons, the Minister said another decision pertained to bringing Nemmadi Kendras under Sakala for expediting providing records and information sought by people in rural areas. He said these measures would help in rejuvenating the kendras and effective implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

Mr. Eshwarappa said that 1,400 posts each of engineer (technical officers) and assistant with a monthly salary of Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 12,500 respectively and 5,600 posts of computer operator with a salary of Rs. 6,500 on contract basis would be filled within two months. He said the Department was not seeking assistance of the Karnataka Public Service Commission because of the urgency and the recruitment would be made on reservation-cum-merit.

On the allegation by the Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh that there were irregularities in the implementation of MNREGA to the tune of over Rs. 600 crore, Mr. Eswarappa admitted that the confusion pertained to the year 2008-09 and third party inspection had been made. He said that the Director concerned had been asked to study the irregularities and submit a report.

Party membership

About the criticism by the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on removing Ayanur Manjunath and M. Dhananjaya Kumar from their posts in the party and government, Mr. Eshwarappa reacted in his own inimitable style that “it is like the parents rebuking their young son and I take it in my stride”. When reminded that no reason had been given for removing Mr. Manjunath as spokesman, he quipped: “When he was appointed to the post was also not known.”

Disagreeing with the suggestion that the image of the party had been affected by internecine battle in the party, he said that the membership in the State had crossed 15 lakh in one week. Last year, the party enrolled 27 lakh members, which showed its growing popularity, he added.

More In: Karnataka | National