BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has declined to take part in the opening of the long awaited Bidar-Kalaburagi railway line, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bidar on Sunday evening.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Siddaramaiah said that the invitation from the Railways came at the last moment. “The railway officials should have discussed the programme with us. The state shares half the cost in all the railway projects executed in the state. When such is the case, they have not bothered to discuss the outline of the programme with us and have invited us in the last moment. This is improper,” he criticised.
He also said he had prior commitments to attend other programmes and would not be able to make it. Industries Minister R V Deshpande would represent the state in his stead. Siddaramaiah will observe the protocol required of him to receive the Prime Minister at HAL airport on Sunday afternoon.
He will then leave for Mysuru by chopper and halt there for the night, while Modi will head towards Palace Grounds to attend a private event and later leave for Bidar around 5.30pm. He will be received in Bidar by Industries Minister R V Deshpande and Minister for Municipal Administration Eshwar Khandre, who is district incharge.
On BJP’s continued demand for resignation of Bengaluru Development Minister K J George, he said that if B S Yeddyurappa was so concerned about taking a moral stand, then the BJP state president should be the first to resign. He also refused to speculate on JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy’s support for George who said there was no need for the minister to resign. “It does not mean that he was supporting the party or George. He has merely expressed his opinion,” he said.
Modi in Karnataka
9 am: Lands at Mangaluru airport by a special flight. From there, the PM will take helicopter to Dharmasthala. He will also attend a rally at Ujire
2 pm: Arrives in Bengaluru, to address party workers at HAL airport and attend a spiritual fete at Palace Grounds
6 pm: Flags off DEMU services between Bidar and Kalaburgi at Bidar Railway station