Special Correspondent

‘Belagavi’ proposal to be submitted to Centre again

DONGAON: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has accused the Union Government of buckling under pressure from Maharashtra and rejecting the State’s proposal to change the name of Belgaum district to Belagavi, while giving clearance to rename 12 other places.

Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, Mr. Kumaraswamy alleged that the Centre had acted that way due to the pressure exerted by Maharashtra.

“We will once again move the Centre to accept the proposal on Belgaum.”

The Chief Minister said that during his visits to Delhi he had raised the issue of renaming the cities with the Central leaders, including Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

On whether he would seek the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Chief Minister said in the present set-up the Prime Minister was not in a position to take an independent decision on his own.

On the Congress charge that the State had not utilised funds provided by the Centre under different schemes, the Chief Minister accused that party of spreading falsehood. He said of the Rs. 2,369 crore announced for the State under the Prime Minister’s package for six districts, the Union Government had so far released Rs. 65 crore only and not Rs. 1,300 crore as claimed by it (Centre). Mr. Kumaraswamy said in the Prime Minister’s package a major part of the funds was for improving irrigation facilities in these districts and the State could not utilise the funds for projects in the Cauvery or Krishna basin as the disputes with the riparian States were under adjudication. Therefore, the State Government had sent a proposal to the Centre to allow the State to utilise the funds for minor irrigation and watershed and rainwater harvesting works, he said.

Meeting

Hassan Staff Correspondent reports:

The Chief Minister told presspersons in Arsikere that the opinion of the people of Belgaum was taken before recommending to the Centre to the change to Belagavi.

But the Centre had rejected the proposal. “We will go to the people again,” he said.

The Chief Minister said he would convene the coordination committee meeting of JD (S) and BJP after the return of legislators from their China tour. There we will discuss the transfer of power, he said.

On the statements made by Venkatesh, MLA, and the Ministers D.T. Jayakumar and Iqbal Ansari against transferring power to BJP, Mr. Kumaraswamy said it was their individual opinion.

More In: KARNATAKA | NATIONAL