BENGALURU: In a major embarrassment to the ruling BJP in the state, a party MLA on Thursday staged a protest against the State Government’s alleged failure to provide relief to people hit by floods. MP Kumaraswamy, BJP MLA from Mudigere constituency in Chikkamagaluru district, staged a protest near Mahatma Gandhi statue on the premises of Vidhana Soudha from 11 am to 1 pm.
He was upset with the State Government for not including his constituency in providing relief under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) norms. Kumaraswamy said he is a senior MLA and he has never blackmailed the party for anything. “I am always loyal to the party and never blackmailed it for anything. Unfortunately, my request to provide grants to help people in my constituency was not taken seriously,” the MLA told Revenue Minister R Ashoka, who convinced him to withdraw the protest.
Realising the damage the protest will cause to the government and the party’s image, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who is in Mangaluru, spoke to Kumaraswamy over phone and assured the MLA of addressing his concerns.
Kumaraswamy said in 2019, heavy rains and landslides caused heavy damage in Mudigere and six people had died. Also, heavy rains wreaked havoc in 2020. Again, this year, Mudigere and other parts of the district were hit by heavy rains. “We requested compensation... but it was not taken seriously. Our district remains neglected,” the MLA said. “When Shivamogga town is included in the NDRF norms, why Mudigere is not?” he questioned.
People, whose houses were damaged in the 2019 floods, are yet to get relief, he said. “I am requesting the government to help people in my constituency,” he said, adding that Bommai and Ashoka have assured of looking into the request for providing grants to help people.