MYSURU: A day after the helicopter smoke scare at the HAL airport in Bengaluru, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, from a socialist background, offered special puja along with wife Parvathamma and son to the presiding deity at Siddarameshwara temple in his native village Siddaramanahundi on Sunday.
Smoke was detected in the helicopter that was to take Siddaramaiah and his colleagues to Mysuru on Saturday.
When he was advised not to take the chopper, he travelled to Mysuru by road.
However, his family members downplayed his visit and maintained that it had nothing to do with the copter snag. They said the visit was prescheduled and that the family usually offers puja at the local temple.
But they said they spent some anxious moments when they learnt of the smoke in the copter.
Siddaramaiah, who spent about half an hour at the temple, sent out photographers and mediapersons to stop them from taking pictures of the family.
The chief minister’s day was packed. He visited Chikkamma temple that is under construction and directed that the work be completed at the earliest.
He inspected the ongoing work of his house being built on the lines of the Mysuru style Thotti Mane (a building which is surrounded by a courtyard and has rooms on all four sides) and sought a few clarifications from the engineers.
He also inspected the road works and construction of a community hall.
Siddaramaiah, on his second visit to his native village in 18 months, spent more than three hours with his childhood friends, family and villagers.
He had lunch with his friends. The menu consisted of country chicken, fish curry and ragi ball.
As the news of his visit spread, hundreds of people from neighbouring villages thronged Siddaramanahundi to meet the chief minister. And there was an impromptu Janata Darshan with people seeking government jobs, pension, loan and other facilities. He later left for Hassan by road to take part in a cultural festival.
Earlier, Siddaramaiah laid the foundation stone for the restoration of the Lansdowne building in Mysuru and appealed to the media not to visit Siddaramanahundi as it was a private visit.
Parameshwara Slams BJP
KPCC president G Parameshwara condemned the recent statements made by BJP leaders that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was protecting four “tainted” ministers. Speaking to reporters here on Sunday, he said the BJP should approach the Lokayukta or other constitutional bodies with valid documents showing the involvement of these ministers in land encroachment instead of making baseless charges. “Do they have any moral right to take the issue to the people or demand resignations of these ministers when 14 ministers in the previous government were accused in criminal cases?” he asked.
On BJP national president Amit Shah’s visit to the state, he said Shah’s visit will not affect the Congress.
“The BJP cannot wrest power in the state or free the country of Congress,” he said.
On the statements of ministers Anjaneya and Srinivasa Prasad that the next chief minister should be a dalit, he said it is their personal opinion.
“I will comment on the issue at the right time,” he added.
Earlier, he visited Suttur Mutt and sought blessings of JSS Seer Shivarathri Deshiekndra Swami.
KPSC Row: Govt Firm on its Decision
Mysuru: Defending the government’s decision to recommend the names of some individuals to the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC), Chief Minister Siddaramaiah accused the BJP of politicising the entire issue. He told reporters here on Sunday that he would face the issue politically as no member recommended by the government is facing any criminal or corruption charges. BJP is making “baseless charges” against former MLC Sudarshan accusing him of writing a letter in favour of a trust, he said. “As a politician, everyone will write a letter recommending one or the other case in public life,” he added.