Flexes remain in Belagavi as govt ignores directive

Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar. DH Photo

It’s been five days since Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar directed the state government to instruct the Belagavi city corporation to remove the flexes and banners of political leaders, erected across the city.

Authorities concerned, however, have taken no action to bring down the publicity material.

When contacted, Belagavi City Corporation Commissioner Shashidhar Kurer told DH that he was still awaiting directions from the government.

“I have only read about the Speaker’s directions on social media. Till date, no one from the Speaker’s office or the Urban Development minister’s office has sent me any notice. I am however seeking clarifications from the Urban Development secretary and the director of the Directorate of Municipal Administration. We will soon initiate action,” he added.

On December 13, the Speaker had, suo motu, raised the subject of the bunting menace that is plaguing Belagavi for the last few of weeks.

Citing Karnataka High Court’s strong stand against defacement of Bengaluru through illegal hoardings and banners, Kumar had asked the government’s intervention.

“Before someone files a PIL and the court issues an order, get the banners removed. Let’s not wait for the court to pull us up,” Kumar had said.

Interestingly, the matter came up yet again during the ongoing winter session. On Tuesday, Tiptur MLC B C Nagesh broached the subject in the Legislative Assembly.

Addressing the Speaker, he said that despite his directions to the government to get the flexes removed, no action had been taken.

Aiming his sarcasm at the government, Kumar said that he had done his bit. “A PIL was filed in Bengaluru. I said the banners should be removed, before somebody moves the court again. I thought we were conscientious enough. Unfortunately, I don’t think the government gets the sentiment. What should I do?” he said.

Hundreds of flexes and banners have been erected by JD(S) Belagavi district president Shankar Madalagi, who is vying for a Lok Sabha ticket. Madalagi has erected these flexes extending an invitation to the JD(S) and Congress leaders to Belagavi, marking their participation in the ongoing winter session.

A majority of the flexes feature Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and his brother H D Revanna and other JD(S) leaders like H Vishwanath, N H Konareddy and Basavaraj Horatti. The flexes, also carry images and names of top Congress leaders including Siddaramaiah, G Parameshwara, H K Patil, Satish Jarkiholi and others.

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