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Flood relief: BJP MLA protests at Vidhana Soudha

He staged a protest alone, with a placard, in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue at Vidhana Soudha
Last Updated : 12 August 2021, 21:44 IST
Last Updated : 12 August 2021, 21:44 IST

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In an embarrassment to the ruling BJP, its Mudigere legislator M P Kumaraswamy on Thursday demonstrated all by himself in Vidhana Soudha, accusing the government of neglecting his flood-hit constituency.

Kumaraswamy's demand is that Mudigere should be brought under the ambit of flood relief through the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).

Kumaraswamy sat in protest in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Vidhana Soudha with a placard addressed to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai seeking NDRF/SDRF funds for Mudigere and compensation to those who lost their homes, land and crops.

"In 2019, we had severe floods in which six people got washed away along with their homes. It took us 15 days to recover their bodies. Not just homes, but even coffee estates got washed away. We asked for relief and (the government) showed extreme neglect. We kept quiet. Last year, there were floods again," he said.

"This time, I won’t ask why funds were given to others. But, I will say that when Shivamogga City comes under NDRF, why not Mudigere, which is a forest area in the Western Ghats region that received 900 mm rainfall?" he said.

Kumaraswamy's reference to Shivamogga is seen as a dig at former chief minister B S Yediyurappa and RDPR Minister K S Eshwarappa; both of them belong to the Shivamogga district. Apparently, Kumaraswamy also holds a grouse against fellow MLA and BJP national general secretary C T Ravi, who comes from the same Chikkamagaluru district.

The BJP MLA even said that former JD(S) chief minister H D Kumaraswamy was more helpful. "When I was elected in 2018, Kumaraswamy was the CM. I requested him, with folded hands, for help. He gave grants and even reached out to me. But now, despite our own party being in power, there's neglect," said Kumaraswamy, a ministerial aspirant.

This monsoon saw Karnataka suffering floods for the fourth consecutive year.

Kumaraswamy withdrew his protest after Revenue Minister R Ashoka reached out to him. The MLA cried while explaining his ordeal to the minister. "I'm a senior MLA, but not a single minister reciprocates," he said. Ashoka calmed him down.

"He's a friend. I will discuss his demands with the CM and take steps towards providing compensation and rebuilding damaged infrastructure in Mudigere," Ashoka told reporters.

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Published 12 August 2021, 10:34 IST

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