KARNATAKA

Meet on border districts soon

Shaktinagar (Raichur dt.) Oct. 28. The Home Minister, Mallikarjun Kharge, has said that a high-level meeting of secretaries of the Finance, Home, and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj departments, Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police, and Chief Executive Officers of the zilla panchayats concerned will be convened in Bangalore within two weeks. The meeting will discuss the problems faced by the people and formulate strategies for the development of areas on the borders of the State where naxalites are active.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr. Kharge said the Government was aware of the situation in the border districts where people had been denied basic facilities and employment. The situation in the border villages had encouraged pro-naxalite organisations to instigate the villagers to protest against the Government. Special attention was needed for the development of border districts such as Raichur, Bidar, and Kolar, he said. The districts had been neglected by successive Governments. The Congress Government was committed to providing basic facilities and employment in these areas.

When asked about the criticism by the President of the BJP State unit, H.N. Ananth Kumar, on the Government's failure to get the Centre to agree to amend Article 371 of the Constitution to provide special status to backward regions of the State in matters relating to education and employment, Mr. Kharge said Mr. Kumar's criticism was uncalled for. The Government would continue to bring pressure on the Centre for considering its request to give a special status to some of the districts in the Hyderabad Karnataka region, he said.

Mr. Kharge said that Ministers, elected representatives, MPs, and political leaders of all parties in the Hyderabad Karnataka region should join the Government in pressuring the Centre on the issue.

Minor Irrigation

Giving details on the development schemes taken up by the Minor Irrigation Department, of which he is in charge, he said the Government was implementing the Raitha Kayaka Yojana to rejuvenate irrigation tanks in all the drought-affected areas in the State.

Earlier, he inaugurated the police headquarters building and the staff quarters in Raichur.

The police infrastructure was being strengthened, he said.

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