Countering senior Congressman M. Mallikarjun Kharge who had often claimed to have developed the Hyderabad Karnataka region under the Congress rule, B.S. Yeddyurappa, president of BJP’s State unit, said that the region remained backward in the last forty years despite Mr. Kharge being in power during the period.
Addressing a press conference at the local party office here on Wednesday, Mr. Yeddyurappa claimed that the region remained stagnant on all development parameters including the Human Development Index.
“Mr. Kharge often claims that he has developed the region. But, the data on different development parameters shows that there is no significant change between the 1970s and now. The stagnant Human Development Index indicates little qualitative progress in social and economic sectors. The Hyderabad Karnataka districts permanently occupying the bottom rungs in SSLC and PUC ranking grid every year speaks volumes about the pathetic educational condition of the region,” he said.
Mr. Yeddyurappa also countered Mr. Kharge and Congress over the latter’s claims on Special Status accorded to Hyderabad Karnataka region through Constitutional amendment by inserting Clause (J) to Article 371.
“They [Congress] said that 45,000 vacancies at various government departments in the region would be filled under Article 371(J). Their promise remained a promise until now. Kalaburagi city is facing an acute drinking water crisis. It has many areas that are not connected with the underground drainage system. No major industrial unit that could generate considerable employment opportunities to the local population has come to Kalaburagi in the last 45 years,” he said in a reference to Mr. Kharge’s claims.
When some reporters asked Mr. Yeddyurappa about the BJP’s moral right to seek votes in the Hyderabad Karnataka region when it had done little for the region in all these years, Mr. Yeddyurappa lost his temper and angrily retorted, “I have not claimed that we have done a lot for Kalaburagi. I said that we will do alot if we come to power.” After saying this, he abruptly ended the press conference.
BJP State general secretary N. Ravikumar, the party candidate for Kalaburagi segment Umesh Jadhav, former bureaucrat Ratna Prabha, party leaders B.G. Patil, Doddappagowda Patil Naribol, Shashil G. Namoshi, A.B. Malakareddy and others were present.