Staff Correspondent

Party workers told to be ready for mid-term elections to the Assembly

BJP, JD(S) accused of taking credit for works done by Congress

Government criticised for neglecting north Karnataka

Bidar: “We will not associate with the Janata Dal (Secular) in future. Enough of running a coalition Government with them,” Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Mallikarjun Kharge said at Aurad on Saturday.

He was addressing a party workers rally. “We are not thinking of forming a government with that party. We will never do so in future,” Mr. Kharge said.

He appealed to party workers to be ready for mid-term elections to the Legislative Assembly likely to be held soon. He urged the people to defeat the “unholy alliance” between the Janata Dal (S) and the Bharatiya Janata Party and vote for the Congress in the coming urban local body elections. In Bhalki, he challenged Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to a debate on the contribution of the JD(S)-BJP Government to the State. He accused the two parties of taking credit for the works done by the Congress Government.

The State Government had reduced the budgetary grant to agriculture to 17 per cent from 21 per cent. It had allocated only 20 per cent of the budget to the power sector as against the 27 per cent allocation to it when the Congress was in power, Mr. Kharge said. He said the State Government had obtained “undeserved publicity” for providing bicycles to schoolchildren. However, the Government had given bicycles only to 95,000 of the 65 lakh schoolchildren in the State. He alleged that development of the State had suffered owing to the bickering between the coalition partners.

In Bidar, he criticised the Government of neglecting north Karnataka and the Hyderabad-Karnataka region in terms of development. “They speak a lot about developing north Karnataka. But what they end up doing is developing only Hassan district,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition in the legislative Assembly N. Dharam Singh criticised the Government for not taking steps to resolve the problems faced by sugarcane farmers. He took exception to Finance Minister Yediyurappa’s action of setting aside Rs. 220 crore to religious institutions in the budget.

MP Narasingrao Suryavanshi, MLA Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli, MLCs Basavaraj Patil Humnabad, Rathna Kushnoor, Quazi Arshad Ali, and party leaders Ishwar Khandre, M.G. Mule, Basavaraj Patil Attoor, and B. Narayan were present.