Mangaluru

Kateel says Siddaramaiah sidelined Dalit leader

BJP State president Nalin Kumar Kateel sowing paddy saplings during a field rejuvenation event at Sannakki Bettu near Parkala in Udupi district on Sunday.  

State BJP president and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel on Sunday took swipes at the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who had dared the BJP to nominate a Dalit as the next Chief Minister and said that it was Mr. Siddaramaiah who had sidelined Dalit leader G. Parameshwara when he became the Chief Minister.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of his visit to Parkala near Udupi to participate in a fallow paddy field rejuvenation project, Mr. Kateel said that Mr. Siddaramaiah had buried the discussion on making a Dalit as the Chief Minister soon after he took over administration.

On the other hand, the BJP, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, has made a Dalit the President. Dalit Ministers account for nearly 30% of the Union Cabinet strength, he pointed out. On the issue of leadership change in the State, Mr. Kateel said that he has not received any message from the party higher-ups so far. He has read and heard about it only through the media. Complimenting Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, Mr. Kateel said that he was the one who gave importance to farmers by presenting the first agriculture budget. He was also instrumental in waiving farm loans.

Speaking at the paddy field rejuvenation event organised by Kedarothana Trust under the guidance of Udupi MLA K. Raghupathi Bhat, Mr. Kateel said that this initiative will go a long way in keeping alive the traditional agricultural practices. In fact, there has been agricultural revolution in Udupi, Mr. Kateel said, participating in the programme at Sannakki Bettu near Parkala.

Mr. Kateel said that ancestors in the region did not view agriculture as a form to earn profit; but as a mode of reverence.

Agriculture forms the base of almost all rituals and folk arts. At a time when agricultural activities have been grounded due to commercial interests, it was a welcome move people are again evincing interest in these activities.

He said that the BJP governments at the Centre and in the State have been promoting agriculture on a large scale by providing various facilities.

He later joined local farmers in transplanting paddy shoots in the field.

Mr. Bhat and others were present.


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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 6:42:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/kateel-says-siddaramaiah-sidelined-dalit-leader/article35530380.ece

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