: Union Labour and Employment Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said that voting based on caste and communal lines would not help in developing the constituency.
Speaking at an election meeting at Mandhewal village of Jewargi Assembly Constituency, in support of the Congress candidate Ajay Singh on Friday, Mr. Kharge was referring to the presence of several candidates from different castes in the Jewargi Assembly Constituency. He said: “so many candidates from different castes are likely to split the votes and harm the prospects of Dr. Ajay Singh.”
Mr. Kharge said that the voters of the constituency should be wary of these designs and ensure the victory of Dr. Ajay Singh, who represents all castes and communities. He said the voters of the constituency chosen his father, the former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, for eight terms in defiance of casteist and communist elements.
He silenced proponents of the theory that caste played a crucial in the victory of a candidate. “The Rajput community to which Mr. Singh belongs has little or negligible presence in the constituency, and despite this Mr. Singh has set a record, by winning eight terms from Jewargi.”
He rubbished claims made by other political parties that Mr. Singh had done nothing for the constituency, and said these critics would be either blind or wilfully spreading lies.
He said it was due to Mr. Singh’s efforts that the irrigation of over 1.2 lakh acres of land in the drought-prone Jewargi taluk was made possible. Another 40,000 acres would soon be under the irrigation network after the completion of the ongoing Mallabhad Lift Irrigation Project.
It was also because of Mr. Singh that work on the Jewargi branch canal of the Upper Krishna Project was taken up for execution in the 1990s, to improve the conditions of farmers in Jewargi taluk. “Is this not an achievement and an effort to improve the lives of the people in the constituency?” he asked.
He said Mr Singh’s contribution to the improvement of the road network in the State, particularly in Gulbarga district and Jewargi taluk, would not go unremembered. Mr. Singh was responsible for the conversion of the Gulbarga-Bijapur State highway, which passes through Jewargi, into a national highway.
Voters should not be blinded by the misrepresentation and falsehoods spread by adversaries, Mr. Kharge said. Mr. Singh and his son also spoke.