Former chief minister Jagadish Shettar said that the State government should come out with a policy on celebrating Ustavs in the State at the time of drought, as it cannot be selective on which Utsav to be celebrated in a grand manner and which one should not be organised.
Speaking to media persons here on Sunday, he said, it is not right on part of the State government to cancel organising of the Hampi Utsav by saying that Karnataka is reeling under drought.
“When the State government can celebrate Mysuru Dasara Ustav, while the State was still reeled under drought, then how can it cancel the Hampi ustav,” he said and added that the State government to promote art, culture and heritage of Hampi should celebrate the Hampi Utsav at least in a simple manner.
“It has become the policy of State government to neglect programmes of North Karnataka, as the chief minister has been repeatedly saying that people of North Karnataka have not voted for him,” he said.
Earlier, speaking to media persons at the Hubballi airport, Revenue Minister R V Deshpande said, the State government, which celebrated Mysuru Dasara in a grand manner, should also have celebrated Hampi Utsav.
“I came to know about the cancelling of Hampi Utsav through newspapers. District In-charge Minister of Ballari D K Shivakumar, who chaired a meeting of officials in Ballari, might have come to the decision of cancelling the Hampi Ustav after gauging the mood of officials,” he said and added that he would seek more information about it.
The decision of the State government to cancel Hampi Ustav has not gone down well among authors, artists, and religious heads of North Karnataka, as it is being seen as discrimination against the Mumbai-Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karnataka culture.
While artists have submitted a memorandum to Ballari deputy commissioner seeking for a simple Hampi Utsav, religious heads and pro-Kannada organisations have resorted to ‘begging’ protest to raise funds for the celebrations of Hampi Utsav. A letter campaign also has startedBellarylari district urging the government to organise the Hampi Utsav.