Newly appointed Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council S.R. Patil on Monday demanded the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly.
Addressing presspersons, Mr. Patil said the four-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had “betrayed” the people and that Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda should seek fresh mandate. “The government is in deep coma and surviving with the support of ventilator”, he said.
Criticising the government for not tackling drought, he said that the State had not experienced the kind of situation in the last four decades and farmers had started migrating to neighbouring States in search of work.
Mr. Patil announced that he would not accept felicitation from any body, as it was an insult to the people, who reposed faith in the elected representatives. “I have even decided against accepting the remuneration as Leader of Opposition in the Upper House and contribute the same to drought relief fund.”
Rain had failed in Kharif season for the first time after 17 years and over 90 per cent of borewells had been dried up in north Karnataka districts. “Water table is plummeting by the day,” he said.
The government had no time to tackle the drought situation in 273 hoblis in 173 taluks of 24 districts. Though the State was experiencing unprecedented drinking water crisis, the administration did not want to act, as Minister for Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Jagadish Shettar was engrossed in getting the “top” post, he alleged.
Lambasting the government for not utilising the funds allocated by the Union government, he pointed out that though the Centre had released Rs. 2,500 crore in 2011 and 2012, not even half the funds were utilised so far. Similarly, Rs. 1,100 crore of the Rs. 1,500 crore released by the Centre for drinking water had been used so far and Rs.127 crore released to the Deputy Commissioners under Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) had not been utilised by them and, he said.