Karnataka MPs' meet at five-star hotel stokes row

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa (DH Pool)

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa's proposed meeting with state MPs in a five-star hotel at national capital has stoked controversy with Opposition parties leaders criticizing the BJP government splurging the taxpayers' money when the state is facing severe drought.

Yediyurappa, during his first visit to the national capital after becoming in the chief minister on August 5, is planning a meeting with state MPs on August 6 at Leela Palace Hotel, in the upmarket Chanakyapuri Diplomatic Enclave.

During his meeting with the Parliamentarians from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the CM would discuss the state issues including pending projects, pending grants from the Centre. In the deliberation, the CM will also request the MPs to exert pressure on the Centre to release more grants for taking up the drought relief works as more than 100 taluks have been declared drought-hit.

With the two-hour meeting and dinner for MPs, their assistants and Karnataka Bhavan employees coming up to around Rs 25 lakh, Opposition parties MPs have questioned the government on the need for spending huge money for the meeting.

“When the state is facing severe drought and government is struggling to mobilize funds to clear farm loan waiving scheme, what is the need for holding the meeting at the luxury hotel,” asked Prajwal Revanna, JD(S) MP from Hassan.

When the state government held such meetings at a five-star hotel earlier, there were a hue and cry by political leaders. Subsequently, the state government has been holding such meeting at Karnataka Bhavan-1 at Chanakyapuri as part of austerity measures.

“I don’t know why they planned a meeting at a luxury hotel. The state government can avoid unnecessary spending on MPs meeting,” says K C Ramamurthy, Congress Rajya Sabha member.

“Since Karnataka Bhavan itself has a very good conference hall and earlier several MPs meeting were held there itself. This time also the state government could have held a meeting at the same venue,” he said.

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