Bangalore, April 17 (Inditop) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Friday charged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Karnataka of not properly utilising huge funds given to the state by the central government.
“Thousands of crores of rupees have been given to Karnataka by the central government but the money has not reached the intended beneficiaries,” he said, addressing an election rally in Gulbarga, north Karnataka.
Rahul hinted that if the same party rules in Delhi and in the states there would be proper utilisation of funds.
“Yesterday (Thursday) I was in Andhra Pradesh (which borders Karnataka). There is a Congress government and central funds have been properly utilised,” he said, speaking in Hindi. His address lasted less than 15 minutes.
Rahul said the BJP government in the state was “of and for” the rich people while the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government stood for the poor, the backward classes, Dalits, minorities, women and other weaker sections of society.
He promised to work to get special status to Gulbarga and its neighbouring three districts under Article 371 of the Constitution.
The grant of special status under this article entitles the region to get special grants from the central government and several other facilities.
Gulbarga and the neighbouring districts are popularly called Hyderabad-Karnatak area as they were part of Hyderabad province during the rule of the Nizams before they were integrated with Karnataka.
The Hyderabad-Karnatak area is the most backward region in the state and for decades people there have been demanding special status under Article 371.
Rahul told the gathering that Congress worked for the development of all sections of the people while opposition parties thrived on dividing people. He did not name any party.
He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government was doing a commendable job and listed the Rs.81,000 crore (Rs.810 billion) farm loan waiver, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, mid-day meal programme among its achievements.
Former Karnataka Congress unit president Mallikharjun Kharge, a member of the state assembly, is the party nominee from Gulbarga which is reserved for Scheduled Castes.
Kharge has won assembly elections for nine times in a row and is seeking to enter the Lok Sabha for the first time.
Gulbarga goes to polls April 23 along with 16 other constituencies during the first phase of elections in Karnataka. The remaining 11 seats go to polls April 30