RAICHUR: The second leg of Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s Grama Vastavya (village stay) programme in Manvi taluk of Raichur district on Wednesday was marred by an ugly faceoff with temporary employees of a thermal power station who demanded that their jobs be regularised while the CM retorted that they should go to PM Modi for whom they voted (in the recent Lok Sabha elections).
Raichur, like most other Lok Sabha seats in the state, was won by the BJP, riding the Modi wave.
The clash has assumed political overtones and evoked a swift response from the Opposition BJP with party state chief B.S. Yeddyurappa warning that if Mr Kumaraswamy continued to yell at people during his village stay, his party will not allow the CM to continue his village stay programme. Rushing to the support of his son, JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda accused the BJP of instigating the protest to scuttle Mr Kumaraswamy’s Grama Vastavya.
State BJP spokesperson C.T. Ravi remarked that the incident proved Mr Kumaraswamy’s continuation as CM would not be good for him or the state’s health.
The incident happened when the CM was on his way to Karegudda village to participate in the Grama Vastavya programme. The protesters from Yeramaras Thermal Power Station (YTPS) lay on the road and tried to stop the bus in which he was travelling, accompanied by elected representatives and top officials.
An irritated Mr Kumaraswamy, who was sitting in the front seat of the bus, lost his cool and was locked in an argument with the protesters. He yelled “You go to Modi …whom you voted for. You vote for Modi and come to me for solving your problems?”
Nearly 380 employees who worked at YTPS on contract basis, have lost their jobs after their contract was annulled all of a sudden a few days ago.
When his words evoked a vociferous response from the protesters, a furious Mr Kumaraswamy warned them that he would order a lathi-charge as the police struggled to remove the protesters who were present in large numbers.
Earlier in the day, when some employee representatives met the CM, he did assure them that he would find a solution in a fortnight but the employees, were apparently not happy with the CM’s response and tried to stop his vehicle.
Later speaking at the Janata Darshan programme, he tried to make amends remarking, “If what I said is an offence, I will henceforth refrain from making such comments and mind my business.” The Modi factor returned to haunt the CM at Karegudda village when a group of young people, said to be supporters of Devadurga BJP MLA Shivangouda Naik, suddenly descended on the road when the CM’s bus arrived and raised slogans demanding funds for development of Devadurga taluk. A visibly annoyed Mr Kumaraswamy said, “Modi is in Delhi and cannot hear your voice and solve your problems. It’s me, who has to solve your problems.”
“If the BJP and their leader B.S. Yeddyurappa are confident of getting help from Mr Modi, I’m ready to arrange a special train to Delhi for them. Mr Modi has not released `2,000 crore due to us under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. If they (BJP leaders) can get us funds from the Centre, we can check the migration of rural people,” Mr Kumaraswamy remarked sarcastically.
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