Siddu hits back at BSY over Shimoga

Last Updated 22 October 2013, 19:51 IST

The public spat between Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Karnataka Janata Paksha leader B S Yeddyurappa over the development of Shimoga intensified on Tuesday.

The chief minister hit back at Yeddyurappa, a day after the latter reportedly addressed him in the singular and vowed to ensure he lost his chair after the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

In a sardonic comment, Siddaramaiah said Yeddyurappa went to jail “because of the development he ensured during his reign as chief minister”.

“Just because Yeddyurappa was once the chief minister, he believes he is entitled to a special right to address the present chief minister in the singular,” Siddaramaiah told reporters after the Janata Darshan programme here. “I also can speak in the same language as he has, but I cannot stoop to his level. It is not in our culture.”

Meanwhile, BJP leader K S Eshwarappa joined the issue and strongly defended Yeddyurappa. “Siddaramaiah should mind his tongue. As a chief minister, he should uphold the dignity of his office and not indulge in loose talk,” he told reporters at a press conference. “Instead of talking about the development of Shimoga, he is indulging in mud-slinging.”

The spat began when Siddaramaiah, during a visit to Shimoga on Sunday, alleged that Yeddyurappa and Eshwarappa looted more than Rs 1,000 crore of the State’s wealth and neglected that district’s development. He was replying to an appeal by a Congress functionary to announce a special package of Rs 1,000 for Shimoga district.

At a protest rally on Monday, Yeddyurappa hit out at the chief minister and vowed to ensure Siddaramaiah did not remain at the helm after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

During his latest criticism, Siddaramaiah said Yeddyurappa had reached “a level of desperation” after having failed to make any political inroads in the State. He was under the “false illusion” that people would embrace him as soon as he made such fiery attacks against the incumbent chief minister, Siddaramaiah added.

On Yeddyurappa’s “pledge” to ensure the chief minister lost office after the general elections, Siddaramaiah retorted: “Let 100 such Yeddyurappas come, I cannot be removed from power.”

‘Funds to temples, mutts stopped’

BJP leader K S Eshwarappa on Tuesday accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of “blocking” funds, allocated by the previous BJP government, to religious organisations and temples run by backward classes in the State.

Eshwarappa claimed the chief minister had directed all deputy commissioners to “not release the funds” earmarked by the previous government.

Speaking to reporters, he said the then government headed by Jagadish Shettar had allocated Rs 43 crore to institutions such as Sri Shivasharana Maadara Chennaiah Gurupeeta of Chitradurga, Sri Adijambava Mutt of Kodihalli, Sri Shivayogi Siddarameshwara Mutt and Chalavadi Mahasamstana so that they promote their social and educational activities.

But Siddaramaiah “stalled” the release of funds in question, and hence the mutts and institutions were “in distress”. Many of them had even taken up several activities, presuming that the earmarked fund would be allotted to them.

(Published 22 October 2013, 19:51 IST)

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