Council elections: Harikrishna attacks Oscar, Sorake

Council elections: Harikrishna attacks Oscar, Sorake

Congress rebel candidate Harikrishna Bantwal challenged Rajya Sabha Member Oscar Fernandes and Urban Development and Udupi District In-Charge Minister Vinaykumar Sorake to disclose the location where a meeting was held to decide (sitting MLC) that Pratapchandra Shetty should be given the party ticket for the forthcoming Legislative Council election, if they have any self-respect and conscience.

Referring to a statement made by Sorake that Shetty’s candidature was finalised at a meeting of all the MLAs and Congress leaders, Harikrishna challenged the Congress leaders to disclose the venue and time of that meeting.

He claimed that no such meeting was held anywhere anytime and said the party had proposed only his name for the election. However, things changed as some Congress leaders played a ‘double game’, he claimed without mentioning any name, but apparently referring to Sorake.

He challenged that he would give a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh cash to those who provide a proof to show that Shetty attended at least one meeting out of the 164 meetings held in Mangalore City Corporation, Zilla Panchayat or Taluk Panchayat in Dakshina Kannada district in the last five years.

“The greed of some leaders to earn money and power will destroy the party in the State Legislative Council election,” he said.

Harikrishna said he is contesting the election as a rebel candidate to challenge the Congress leaders who neglected the party workers.

He said he would take steps to increase the gram panchayat members’ honorarium from the present Rs 500 per month to at least Rs 2,000 and a minimum of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh development fund to each GP member. “At a time when a daily wage labourer gets Rs 500 a day, it is a tragedy that the government has fixed Rs 500 as monthly honorarium to GP members. It is nothing, but peanuts,” he remarked.

Harikrishna criticised Fernandes and Sorake for allegedly threatening the gram panchayat members (voters) that they would come to know if they (GP members) vote for anybody else other than the official Congress candidate (Pratapchandra Shetty).

He questioned “When a son won’t come to know whom did his father vote for or a wife won’t come to know whom did her husband vote for in every election held since 1952, how can one come to know who voted for whom?” and appealed the authorities to book criminal cases against both the leaders for their alleged threats to voters.

To a question, he said he is vocal against Congress for the first time in his 43 years of his political life ‘simply because the Congress leaders are taking the voters for a ride’.
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