KOPPAL : As many as 90 dalit artistes of Karnataka may miss the three-day 9th Association of Kannada Kootas of America (AKKA) world conference to be held at Atlantic City of New Jersey in USA from September 2.
Though the Social Welfare Department in right earnest agreed to bear the travel expenditure of these artistes, the Kannada and Culture Department put the matter on hold and cleared their names for participation at the eleventh hour, resulting in infeasibility of visa permission, said an artiste selected for the conference. It is almost impossible to get through the visa verification process in about a week’s time, he added.
Meanwhile, a host of ministers, including R V Deshpande and Ramanath Rai, actor and MLA Ambareesh and officials are heading for the conference at the cost of the government exchequer, he noted.
In fact, Social Welfare and Kannada and Culture departments were at loggerheads over participation of these artistes and hence, the former took initiative to bear their travel expenses. But, the Kannada and Culture Department deliberately played spoilsport by delaying to clear their names, he alleged.
Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya was in Koppal on Friday and told Express that there is a bottleneck in getting visa verification due to time paucity. The dalit artistes could attend the World Kannada Conference if visa verification process is carried out on time, he said.
Kannada and Culture Department Minister Umashree told Express that her department had cleared the participation of dalit artistes in AKKA conference on August 17. But, she declined to comment on visa verification issues. “There is no lack of coordination between Social Welfare and Kannada and Culture departments,” she maintained.