The District Congress Committee on Saturday felicitated Mallikarjun Kharge, Union Minister for Labour and Employment, and N. Dharam Singh, MP and former Chief Minister, for the initiative taken by them in getting special status for the Hyderabad Karnataka region through an amendment to Article 371.
Earlier, the two veteran leaders of the Congress were taken in a colourful procession from the railway station to the municipal school ground where the felicitation function was held. Hundreds of party workers and leaders attended the programme.
The two leaders were honoured with silk shawls, garlands and citations. Speakers on the occasion, including Veeranna Mattikatti, former chairman of the Legislative Council, and Allum Veerbhadrappa, former Minister, hailed the two leaders for their initiative in giving impetus to overall development of Bellary, Gulbarga, Raichur, Yadgir, Koppal and Bidar districts in the Hyderabad Karnataka region.
S. Pannaraj T.G. Vittal, both conveners of the Bellary Zilla Hitarakshana Horata Samiti, and a few others involved in the movement that had been launched seeking special status, were also felicitated.
K.C. Kondaiah, former MLC; Anjaneyulu, president of the Bellary City District Congress; Kamala Mariswamy, member of the executive committee of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee; Abdul Wahab and others were present.
Kallukamba Pompapati, senior leader of the Congress, welcomed the gathering and M.P. Ravi, president of the District Congress Committee, proposed a vote of thanks.
Mr. Kharge appealed to the people to bring the Congress back to power to reap the maximum benefits from the special status granted to the Hyderabad Karnataka region.
“The Congress alone can ensure that the benefits of Article 371 (J) accrue to the people as it is committed to framing rules and regulations for the purpose. For the bright future of your children, ensure that Congress comes to power in the State Assembly elections,” he said.
Speaking after being felicitated by leaders of the District Congress Committee here on Saturday, Mr. Kharge thanked all political parties and organisations for their efforts in getting special status for the Hyderabad Karnataka region.
“Owing to some misconceptions, the BJP government and its leaders had initially caused some delay in getting the amendment Bill passed.
I had to convince them by explaining the benefits and prevailed upon them to withdraw their opposition,” he said.