BPL cards: Karnataka Minister makes a U-turn, 'no definite parameters exist'

Agencies
February 16, 2021

Bengaluru, Feb 16: A day after his statement on Below Poverty Line ration cardholders sparked a row, Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Minister Umesh Katti on Tuesday made a U-turn, saying there were no definite parameters for BPL and APL card holders over availing benefits. The minister emphasised that the BJP government in Karnataka headed by B S Yediyurappa was pro-poor and was committed to distributing more BPL cards.

It will continue to give free foodgrains such as Ragi, corn and rice, he added. Having come under attack from the Congress and the JD(S), Katti told reporters here there were no definite parameters for BPL and APL (Above Poverty Line) and there was no need for anyone to worry as the government has not issued any statement in this regard.

Retracting from his previous statement, the minister said, "I had only shared the information from Delhi with media. Neither those parameters (motorcycle, TV, fridge and land) were mine, nor the Chief Minister has given any such orders. I am not an irresponsible minister." However, he did not elaborate.

Stating that his statement did not pertain to the BPL cardholders, he said further confusion on the matter was uncalled for.

"I have not issued any order without consulting the Chief Minister. BPLs are BPLs and APLs are APLs," he said.

Katti had on Monday said in Belagavi that those owning components such as motorcycle, TV, fridge and five acres of land are not entitled to hold a BPL card and they have to surrender them to the government by March 31, or else the government will take action.

The opposition Congress and the JD(S) had come down heavily on Katti and the BJP government calling it anti-poor and anti-people. 

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News Network
April 9,2021

Bengaluru, Apr 9: Bus services were hit in Karnataka for the third consecutive day on Friday, as the stalemate between the employees of the road transport corporations, who are on an indefinite strike on wage related issues, and the state government continued.

With the government on Thursday evening reiterating that it was not possible to fulfil their demand for the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission report, RTC employees have decided to continue with the strike.

As employees belonging to all the four transport corporations did not attend duty, buses continued to remain off the roads across the state, including Bengaluru, affecting daily commuters.

Passengers travelling to and from distant areas and office-goers were the most affected.

Private buses, mini buses, maxi cabs and other passenger transport vehicles were seen providing services to stranded passengers in different parts of the city and the state.

However, the number of passengers using private buses continued to remain scarce in the city, as people were using their own vehicles or were seen using cabs, Metro and auto rickshaws, especially in the city areas, private operators said.

Metro has increased the frequency of its services between 7 am and 9 pm.

Amid threats of ESMA and "no work no pay", very few RTC workers have returned to work and buses are said to be operating on some routes in the city along with police escort, sources said, adding that there are similar reports from few other places in the state.

Transport Department Principal Secretary Anjum Parvez on Thursday had said as a temporary arrangement, employees who have retired in the last two years have been requested to come back to service.

"They should be physically fit, medical and eye tests will be done."

Also requesting employees to get back to work, as the government has fuliffed 8 of their 9 demands and has decided for 8 per cent salary increase as an interim relief, he had said that per day loss because of the strike is about Rs 20 crore.

RTCs that have been warning employees about continuing with the strike, have started taking action against trainee employees and are issuing notice for absence from work.

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coastaldigest.com news network
April 13,2021

Bengaluru, Apr 13: Amidst continued threats of covid-19, the government of Karnataka has issued special guidelines for Muslims during the month of Ramdan. As per the guidelines, masjids in containment zones to remain closed till the zone is denotified, large gathering continues to remain prohibited, face masks mandatory.

Here is the complete guidelines:

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Agencies
April 12,2021

Kolkata, Apr 12: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in an apparent jibe at state BJP leaders, said on Monday that those threatening of more Cooch Behar-like killings should be banned politically.

She wondered what kind of human beings are politicians who say that there will be more Sitalkuchi-like incidents and that the death toll should have been higher.

Four people were killed in CISF firing after they "attempted to snatch the rifles of the central forces" while voting was underway in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district in the fourth phase on Saturday, sparking a political storm in the state.

"Some political leaders are threatening of more Sitalkuchi-like incidents, while others are saying that the death toll should have been higher. I am stunned and shocked to see such reactions. What are these leaders up to? They should be politically banned," Banerjee said, while addressing an election rally at Ranaghat in Nadia district.

BJP leaders were seen referring to the Cooch Behar killings and threatening that more such incidents may happen if "naughty boys" take the law into their hands and that more than four people should have been killed in the firing.

Banerjee alleged that the BJP is killing its own workers and leaders and damaging their vehicles "to bring a bad name to the TMC".

"Before conspiring to kill four persons in CISF firing, the BJP, a party of murderers, killed a Rajbongshi brother," she said.

Apart from the four people who were killed in CISF firing, another man was shot dead outside a polling booth by unidentified persons in the same Sitalkuchi assembly constituency area.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has alleged that Banerjee paid tributes only to the four persons killed in CISF firing because they were from the minority community.

Accusing the BJP of communalising the murder of young voters on polling day, Banerjee said, "You cannot succeed in your nefarious game to divide the people of West Bengal. This is not Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat."

Alleging that Shah had hatched the conspiracy of Cooch Behar killings with the full knowledge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the feisty TMC leader said, "After returning to power, I will order a probe to unravel the sequence of events, who were involved, how it all started, whether any rumour was at play...everything."

She urged people not to vote for a party that encourages "firing on voters standing in a queue".

Claiming that her government has given land rights to people settled in refugee colonies in the state, the chief minister said, "The BJP has sent 14 lakh Bengalis in Assam to detention camps. The same fate may await you if they come to power in West Bengal."

She asserted that though she is a Brahmin woman and a devout Hindu who knows mantras by heart, caste identity is not important to her.

"I consider myself inseparable from Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, SCs, STs, OBCs and all other communities. We don't exclude anyone in the name of caste, community or religion. Unlike the BJP, we consider everyone as humans," she said.

"One of the BJP MPs, contesting the assembly polls, has herself damaged the windscreen of her car to give a bad name to the TMC," she said, in an apparent reference to an incident in which the car of saffron party leader Locket Chatterjee was damaged during a TMC protest in Chunchura assembly seat.  
 

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