Staff Correspondent

HASSAN: The former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has welcomed the decision of Karnataka High Court to order a CBI inquiry into the substandard road-laying work on National Highway 48 (Bangalore-Mangalore Road) in Shiradi Ghat. The road was laid at a cost of Rs. 34 crore, but has been damaged in just six months. The High Court on Monday directed the CBI to investigate into the issue with assistance of the Central Vigilance Commission and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

In an exclusive interview with The Hindu in Gandsi village of Arsikere taluk on Monday, Mr. Kumaraswamy said he welcomed the court’s decision and said whoever was responsible for the poor show should be punished. He also wanted the CBI to investigate into whether the road was damaged owing to substandard work or due to movement of overloaded heavy vehicles. Mr. Kumaraswamy was in Gandsi to participate in a Janata Dal (S) rally, where MLA Shivalinge Gowda was being felicitated.

Delegation

Mr. Kumaraswamy said he would not accompany the Chief Minister’s all party delegation to the Delhi to meet the Prime Minister seeking special status for the Hyderabad Karnataka region. Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Monday said he would lead a delegation of all parties to Delhi next week to meet the Prime Minister in this regard.

He charged Mr. Yeddyurappa of being vindictive as far as Hassan district was concerned, as no BJP leader had been elected to the Assembly from there. He said despite several appeals for compensation to farmers for loss of potato crop, nothing had been done.

He said farmers in Bijapur district underwent a loss of Rs. 500 crore on account of failed grape.

He said his party would urge his father H.D. Deve Gowda to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Hassan. This was in response to the recent statement of Mr. Gowda that he would not contest the Lok Sabha polls.

Mr. Kumaraswamy denied speaking ill of Shivakumara Swamiji. “What I said was that some seers were partisan. As Chief Minister, I even urged the Union Government to honour the swamiji with the Bharat Ratna,” he added.

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