Staff Correspondent

Opponents are not aware of its objectives, says Chief Minister

Chitradurga: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has warned of taking tough action against those trying to disrupt the anti-terrorism awareness campaign launched by the Government.

The warning came after Congress activists were taken into custody on charges of disrupting the campaign in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, Mr. Yeddyurappa alleged that the Congress was opposing the campaign without knowing its objectives.

Denying allegations of the Congress that the Bharatiya Janata Party Government was saffronising education, he described the campaign as a way of “evoking patriotism” among the youth.

“How can the Congress label this critical campaign as saffronisation? It is the Government’s duty to involve youth in spreading awareness on terrorism,” he said.

Mr. Yeddyurappa invited the Congress to discuss the issue in the Assembly instead of opposing the Government’s programme in public. He said that he would hold a meeting of Vice-Chancellors of all universities to chalk out further plans to strengthen the campaign.

“I will also write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to support the campaign and extend it across the country,” he asserted.

Mr. Yeddyurappa took exception to the term “Operation Lotus” that is usually used to describe the trend of Opposition MLAs joining the BJP. He was non-committal on whether his party would go ahead with it.

Pointing to Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli who has joined the BJP, the Chief Minister said they were joining the BJP as they were impressed by the development activities taken up by it.

Replying to the statement of president of the 75th Kannada Sahitya Sammelan L. Basavaraju that the Government had failed to improve the socio-economic conditions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the Chief Minister said he had taken Mr. Basavaraju’s words in a positive spirit. “The Government will lay special stress on the welfare of deprived communities. Funds would be earmarked in the budget to provide better infrastructure in SC/ST colonies, besides giving special emphasis on education,” he said.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said the Government had decided to increase the number of KPSC members from seven to nine, and one of them would be from the Banjara community.

The Chief Minister said that a member of the Scheduled Castes had been appointed Vice-Chancellor of Mysore University.

‘No ban on pubs’

Hassan Staff Correspondent reports:

Home Minister V.S. Acharya has said that there is no proposal before the Government to ban pubs in the State.

To another question, he said there was also no proposal before the Government to proscribe the Sri Rama Sene.

Dr. Acharya justified the caning of Congress activists who were protesting against the alleged saffronisation of education, in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Grant for KIMS

Dr. Acharya said the Government had released Rs. 100 crore for the development of Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Hubli.

The college would soon celebrate its golden jubilee.

On appointing district in-charge Ministers, Dr. Acharya said it would be done only after the Lok Sabha elections. Some Ministers are in charge of two districts.