Special Correspondent

GULBARGA: Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday lauded Union Minister for Labour M. Mallikarjun Kharge for his efforts to develop the Hyderabad-Karnataka region by getting more funds from the Centre.

Participating in a function to lay the foundation stone for the Rs. 900-crore ESIC Super Speciality Hospital and Medical Education Complex on the campus of Gulbarga University here, Labour Minister B.N. Bache Gowda said the credit for establishing the hospital in a backward region should go to Mr. Kharge.

It was because of Mr. Kharge's efforts, the State got projects worth Rs. 1,500 crore from the ESIC and the Labour Department this year, Mr. Bache Gowda said.

Besides the proposed super speciality hospital and medical, dental and nursing colleges in Gulbarga, Mr. Kharge also sanctioned a super speciality hospital and medical college for Bangalore, and ESIC hospitals to be set up in Peenya at a cost of Rs. 100 crore and at Bommasandra in Bangalore at a cost of Rs. 160 crore.

Complimenting Mr. Kharge and the Union Government for introducing Rashtriya Swasta Bhima Yojna, he said that it would benefit at least 20 lakh BPL cardholders. While the Centre provided Rs. 73 crore for the scheme, the State Government would contribute Rs. 23 crore. The yojna would also help workers in the unorganised sector.

Mr. Bache Gowda said the Rs. 1,000-crore fund set up to implement a welfare scheme for workers in the unorganised sector under the National Social Security Fund would go a long way in ensuring social security to them.

Medical Education Minister Ramachandra Gowda also lauded Mr. Kharge for his efforts in bringing several Central schemes and more funds to the State.

Minor Irrigation Minister Govind Karjol complimented Mr. Kharge for his commitment to develop the State. The former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh said that Mr. Kharge knew the problems faced by a worker as his father worked in MSK Mills here. Mr. Kharge too started his career as a labour leader in MSK Mills, he added.

Mr. Kharge said: “It is heartening when somebody recognises the achievements of a person and openly acknowledges them.”