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Demand for group picture with Governor mars award function

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Interaction: Governor H.R. Bhardwaj and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Jagadish Shettar with some of the award winners in Bangalore on Thursday.
Interaction: Governor H.R. Bhardwaj and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Jagadish Shettar with some of the award winners in Bangalore on Thursday.

Special Correspondent

Nirmal Gram Puraskar beneficiaries create a ruckus

BANGALORE: The Raj Bhavan, which was the venue for presenting the prestigious Nirmal Gram Puraskar awards was the scene of disturbance on Thursday. The awards are given to panchayat raj institutions for maintaining cleanliness in villages with latrine facility in every home.

The Glass House, where the award presentation function was organised, was filled with presidents and members of the 245 village panchayats and three taluk panchayats, who were selected for the awards. With this, the total number of village panchayats in the State which have been awarded rose to 845. The compere announced that Governor H.R. Bhardwaj would present awards to a few village panchayats, and officials would issue it to the other winners later.

Presentation

Mr. Bhardwaj, accompanied by Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Jagadish Shettar and the Economic Adviser to the Chief Minister K.R. Raju, presented the awards to a few winners and posed for photographs with them. However, village panchayat presidents and members from Hassan, Dharwad and Mangalore approached the podium and began demanding a group picture with the Governor and the Minister.

Asked why they were disturbing the function, an office-bearer from Hassan district said that he was disturbed by the discrimination in allowing leaders in some districts to take pictures with the Governor while denying the opportunity to others.

Mr. Shettar pleaded with them not to mar the function, but it was in vain. Finally the entire contingent of office-bearers from all the districts were allowed to pose with the Governor.

Chief Executive Officer of Bangalore Rural District N. Manjula said that each village panchayat, which had won an award, would get additional financial support of Rs. 4 lakh.

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