If elected, JD(S) promises sops to disabled

If elected, JD(S) promises sops to disabled

The JD(S) on Sunday tried to strike an emotional chord with lakhs of physically challenged voters and their family members in Karnataka by pledging to give top priority to their welfare if voted to power.

The party held a huge convention of the disabled in Bangalore, said to be the first such rally by a political party in the country. It was attended by thousands of  differently-abled people and their family members from across the State. The party promised that it would implement more than 30 welfare programmes for the physically challenged within 90 days of coming to power .

The convention, christened ‘Maanavateya Mahamela,’ had representation from all the 30 districts and the participants were brought to the venue - Palace Grounds - in around 800 buses. Most of the participants had born deformities or had been crippled due to polio. The convention was inaugurated by H N Girish, who recently won a silver medal for the country in the London Paralympic Games.

Addressing the gathering, JD(S) national president H D Deve Gowda said the convention should not be construed as a party programme, but an effort to ensure that the physically challenged were given their due rights and benefits.

Gowda was all praise for his son and the party’s State president H D Kumaraswamy for organising the programme.

“In my 51 years of political life, I have not witnessed a convention of this nature. This unique programme has given me new strength. I pray God to give Kumaraswamy the necessary strength to fulfil his aspiration of serving you. I know he has not been keeping good health,” Gowda said. Kumaraswamy  said it was heart rending to see the plight of the physically challenged and his party would strive to improve their lives. “I understand your pain and difficulties. This convention is not to use you as a vote bank, but to highlight your problems and draw the attention of the government”. Kumaraswamy pointed out that as per government records, there were nine lakh physically challenged people in the State, but surveys by NGOs put the figure at 19 lakh. The former chief minister said he had received hundreds of petitions on delays in getting disability certificates or disability pension being abruptly stopped.

“The present government does not seem to have any concern for you. We are here to fight for your cause. Elections will be held in the next few months. It is for you to decide on who you will select,” Kumaraswamy said and added that he thought that the physically challenged exercised their franchise without any community or religious bias.

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