Madikeri: The Kodagu district Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, Flood Victims' Committee members and the flood victims stopped the car of the Minister for Tourism affairs and District In-charge Minister of Kodagu, Sa Ra Mahesh, by blocking the way, while the minister was on his way to Karnangeri to inspect the construction work of the houses being built for the flood victims. They were protesting alleging government's apathy towards the victims of last year's natural calamities.
Raising slogans against the government, the protesters said, "The state government is delaying providing compensation to the flood victims. It is neglecting the flood victims." "The Chief Minister's Relief Fund has received contributions from several sources. But instead of utilising the funds for the district, the government is misusing it," accused the protesters.
The protesters demanded immediate compensation for the flood victims. "People who lost their houses should be provided houses within their panchayat limits, before the monsoon starts. The agricultural loans borrowed by the flood victims who lost their lands during the natural calamities should be waived, and the trees and sand should be handed over to the owners of the land," demanded the protesters.
Responding to the protesters, Sa Ra Mahesh assured that he will hold a meeting with the flood victims, on Tuesday, June 4, at the Deputy Commissioner's office. He also said that he would call the legislators of the district, Zilla Panchayat members and flood victims' village representatives for the Tuesday's meeting and also assured that he would make sure that the chief minister visits Kodagu district within 15 days and holds a meeting to solve all the problems the flood victims are facing.
The protesters cleared the way after Sa Ra Mahesh's assurance. However, District BJP General Secretary Shantheyanda Ravi Kushalappa, speaking to the press, said that the protest was stopped as the minister assured of arranging a meeting with the chief minister here in the district within 15 days. "If Sa Ra Mahesh does not keep up to his words, there will be a severe protest," Ravi Kushalappa added.
Sa Ra Mahesh on H Vishwanath
"Janata Dal (S) is a party which treats everybody with love and respect. H Vishwanath is our state unit President and there is nothing wrong in what he has spoken," said Sa Ra Mahesh.
Speaking to the media persons about Vishwanath's statement, after inspecting the construction of houses for flood victims in Karnangeri, Sa Ra Mahesh said, "H Vishwanath has spoken out of his experience. He has 40 years of experience in politics and I have only 20 years. Vishwanath has all the rights to advise people like me who have lesser experience. If there are facts in what he has said, I will rectify my mistake."
It may be recalled that Vishwanath had blamed Sa Ra Mahesh for the party's loss in K R Nagar Town Municipal Council election.
"I take the responsibility of the loss at K R Nagar Town Municipal Council polls. In 2018 election, there was a difference of 2,000 votes in K R Nagar town, but this time it was only 516. However, I will respect Vishwanath's advice and see to it that the same does not repeat," said Sa Ra Mahesh. "I have never been involved in politics of hate," he added.
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