BANGALORE: In what could be considered a quick reaction to the criticism in a section of the media over his private visits to temples at government cost, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Wednesday said that he has taken a conscientious decision not to use government vehicles for such purposes any more.
With reference to his pilgrimage on Tuesday, Mr. Kumaraswamy told presspersons that he was on a private visit to a temple in Kasargod district of Kerala and did not use the official car assigned to him. That was why his visit did not get the usual attention from either the people or the media in Kasargod, he added.
He said while the people wanted him to be in their midst, he was aware of the criticism too.
On the allegations that the Adichunchanagiri Math had encroached upon Turahalli forestland near Kengeri, Mr. Kumaraswamy said that there was no need to attach importance to it.
If the report were incorrect, action would be initiated against the forest official concerned who had filed a first information report against the seer. "Sri Balagangadharanatha Swami has expressed his intention of returning the land in question, if the allegation was true," he said.
Earlier at another press conference, Forest and Environment Minister C. Chennigappa also spoke in the same vein and alleged that the Congress leaders were trying to utilise the opportunity for their political ends.
Reacting to the State BJP president D.V. Sadananda Gowda's claim that the credit for a good Budget should go to his party, Mr. Kumaraswamy said it was based on the programmes approved by the Janata Dal (S) and the BJP. It was the result of active involvement of the Ministers from both the parties, he added.
Asked why Rs. 17 crore had been allocated for Shimoga district when only Rs. 5 crore had been given to each of the backward taluks, he said Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa wanted faster development of the district. There was no need for unnecessary criticism, he added.