Deve Gowda targets Siddaramaiah over collapse of Cong-JDS govt

Agencies
August 23,2019

Bengaluru, Aug 23: JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda on Thursday indicated that the Congress-JD(S) coalition government collapsed because the national party's high command decided to make his son H D Kumaraswamy the chief minister without consulting its leader Siddaramaiah.

Continuing to target Siddaramaiah, the former prime minister termed the Congress high command decision wrong, a day after he had alleged that a few Congress friends wanted to unseat the coalition government as they could not see Kumaraswamy as Chief Minister.

"I have clearly said that without taking Siddaramaiah, who was Chief Minister for five years, into confidence Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi all of a sudden came and said Kumaraswamy is the next Chief Minister, it was their wrong decision," Gowda told reporters on Thursday.

He was referring to his interview to a newspaper in which he had held Siddaramiah responsible for the collapse of the government last month, but in remarks made on Wednesday did not name Siddaramaiah.

The coalition government collapsed on July 22 after the confidence motion moved Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy was defeated in the Assembly, bringing to an end his 14-month long turbulent tenure marked by dissidence within the Congress.

Raising a banner of rebellion, sixteen MLAs (13 from the Congress and 3 JD(S)) had resigned as legislators which culminated in the fall of the coalition government.

Siddaramaiah had come under criticism after the government collapsed as most of the rebel Congress MLAs, including ST Somashekar, Byrati Basavaraj, MTB Nagaraj, Munirathna and K Sudhakar, were considered his loyalists.

However, rubbishing claims that he instigated those MLAs to resign and destabilise the government, Siddaramaiah had called the allegation as false made with malafide intention.

Congress and JD(S) considered as arch rivals, especially in old Mysuru region, had bitterly fought against each other during the 2018 Assembly polls, but joined hands after the elections threw up a hung verdict to keep BJP, the single largest party in the 225 member Assembly, out of power.

Since day one, the government was facing trouble from within as barring the top leaders of both parties, their rank and file did not accepted the alliance.

Reflecting strains in the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, Kumaraswamy had once said he was "not happy" being in the top post and was swallowing the pain like ''Vishakantha'' (Lord Shiva), who drank poison.

At one stage, many legislators and also Ministers from the Congress demanded that their legislature party chief Siddaramaiah be made the Chief Minister, prompting Kumaraswamy to even threatening to step down before the rebels took the decisive step of resigning as MLAs.

Following the collapse of the government, BJP under the leadership of BS Yediyurappa has assumed power on July 26 and proved its majority in the Assembly two days later.

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Increase in suicidal tendency among kids amid corona crisis

News Network
July 12,2020

Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 12: At least 66 children have ended their lives in Kerala since the Covid-19 lockdown began on March 25 with youngsters facing stress unable to bear the unprecedented situation where schools are shut and friends are out of reach to share their woes.

According to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, there has been an increasing instance of suicidal tendencies among children in the state due to various reasons, including parents scolding them over mobile phone use and failure to attend online classes.

This has prompted the government to launch a teleconsultation facility for children facing stress and also cautioning parents against hurting their sentiments while being concerned about welfare of their wards. It has also ordered a study into the issue. "Among the children an increasing instance of suicidal tendency is being witnessed which will become an extremely serious social issue.

Since March 25, when the national lockdown was imposed, 66 children, below 18 years of age, have ended their lives due to various reasons", Vijayan said. A mother scolding her child for not attending the ongoing online classes, or a parent questioning a child for downloading a sleazy video on the smartphone or the constant rift between the parents were among the reasons which triggered the suicidal tendency, he said on Saturday.

As the schools have not yet re-opened due to the lockdown, the children are unable to meet their friends and share their problems. Vijayan said though the parents were intervening keeping in mind their child's welfare, it was essential to ensure that the young minds were not hurt in the process. To helpthe children facing issues relating to mental pressures, 'Chiri'atele-counselling initiative has been started by the government under its Our Responsibility to Children Programme (ORC), a planned community intervention that connects with people between the age of 12-18 years. The state health department has also launched "Ottakalla Oppamundu" (You are not alone,we are with you) programmeto help children facing any kind of mental distress and to prevent the suicidal tendencies among them.

Health Minister K K Shailaja said under the psychosocial support assistance, her department has so far reached out to 68,814 children and 10,890 children have been given counselling. The changes in the behaviour of their children should be noted by the family members and if they find something amiss, the district psychosocial help desk should be informed, she said. A 15-member team of Students Police Cadets will be constituted in each of the 14 districts to help the children needing any assistance,police sources said. Education should not be a competition, but a means to gain knowledge, Vijayan said.

A society's future lies with the children and it is the duty of the society and the government to ensure their physical and mental well being. Taking a serious view of the situation, the state government has constituteda committee headed byFire and Rescue Services DGP R Sreelekha to conduct a study on child suicides in the state. The aim of the ORC was also to create a multi collaborative platform for government and professional agencies, parents and teachers to equip youth with appropriate know-how to face challenges, officials said. 

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Lockdown hits livelihoods of vendors

News Network
July 18,2020

Bengaluru, Jul 18: Vendors in Bengaluru are finding it hard to earn a livelihood as the state government has allowed the sale of products only for a few hours each day. The lockdown imposed by the Karnataka government on July 14 will continue till July 22.

Speaking to ANI, Vanajakshi, a local vendor said, "We took loans from banks and small financiers to run our business. But we are finding it tough to pay back as our livelihoods have been hit."
"Because of the lockdown, no one comes to buy and markets remain vacant. There was a time when the Gandhi Nagar market was filled with customers, but now it looks like a vacant playground," she added.

Mythri, an advocate, said, "Look at the conditions of vendors. It's precarious. They do not have any business at all. Even now they have been allowed to sell products till 12 noon, which is not sufficient. It's time for the government to step in and provide assistance. If the Central government can reduce corporate taxes, why can't it help them? At least it will help them pass off these difficult times. "

"They are earning through daily wages. The government imposed lockdown suddenly. Where will they go? The city market in Bengaluru is famous. At least 8,000 people come from slum areas. People here are poor. The lockdown was done suddenly and led to problems for these people," said Congress MLA Zamil Ahmed Khan.

Referring to a recent meeting with the chief minister BS Yediyurappa, he said, "During the meeting called by the CM, I suggested that food kits must be arranged for vendors. The CM said the government is providing rice and wheat but that's not enough."

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Karnataka ready to tackle COVID-19, flood situation: Revenue Minister

News Network
August 7,2020

Bengaluru, Aug 7: Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka has said that state was prepared to tackle COVID-19 and flood situation.

"Today I had a meeting with officials from disaster management, housing, Police, agriculture departments. The government is ready to tackle both the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the flood situation," he told news agency.

The minister said he had held a meeting with officials to take precautionary measures.
"I sanctioned Rs 20 crore to the Fire Department to purchase the equipment for rescue operations. I have already announced red alert in six districts. Tomorrow, I will visit Kodagu, Chikmagalur to assess rescue operations. NDRF reached have teams for rescue operations," he said.

"We are monitoring all dams. Last time we got more floods because of dams. I have instructed to all district collectors that 70 per cent water be filled in dams. Remaining water be sent to canals. We are expecting more rains in nine districts this year," he added.

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