Staff Correspondent

It will help them understand the needs of rural people: Kumaraswamy

BAGALKOT: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has said that he may soon ask his ministerial colleagues to camp in villages on the lines of his village stay programme to have a better understanding of the needs of rural people.

He was talking to presspersons here on Monday. Mr. Kumaraswamy said that the issue would be discussed at the coordination committee of Janata Dal (Secular) and Bharatiya Janata Party and also in the Cabinet.

Claiming that his village stay programme had been

received well, Mr. Kumaraswamy said that it had helped to put the administration on high alert and dispel the feeling of neglected among the people. Officers at the district and taluk level had been asked to visit villages at least once in 15 days, and they were responding well, he said.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said he had been receiving suggestions that Cabinet meetings should be held at the district level occasionally. A decision on the issue would be taken soon, he said.

Referring to the communal disturbances in Mangalore, he appealed to the people to remain calm. Mangalore was being viewed as a good investment destination. It had immense potential to grow into a major industrial centre. Frequent disturbances would sent wrong signals, he said.

Mr. Kumaraswamy denied the allegation made by the Opposition Leader in the Legislative Assembly N. Dharam Singh that he had yielded to the pressure by the BJP leaders and had softened his stance on the Dattapeetha issue. Mr. Kumaraswamy said that the row was a creation of

Congress. The measures initiated by the previous Congress regime headed by S.M. Krishna and then in-charge Minister for Chikmagalur district D.B. Chandregowda had made the issue snowball into a major problem.

To a query, he said the issue would not have any negative bearing on the stability of the Government. He denied the charge made by State BJP chief Sadanand Gowda that he was taking decisions on important policy matters, keeping the BJP in the dark. At a public meeting in Chikkamyageri, Mr. Kumarswamy announced that sanitation blocks would be constructed for poor families soon.

He held an `iftar' for people of the Muslim community in the town here. Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa also took part.

Later, the two leaders addressed a public rally here.