L K Atheeq is new Additional Chief Secretary to Karnataka CM as Goel becomes Chief Secretary

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November 27, 2023

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Bengaluru, Nov 27: IAS officer LK Atheeq has been appointed as the new Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister of Karnataka with immediate effect. 

An order issued by the government stated that Atheeq, a 1991-batch officer will replac Dr Rajneesh Goel as Additional Chief Secretary. Dr Rajneesh Goel, 1986-batch officer, was earlier this month elevated as new Chief Secretary of the State.

Atheeq is also placed in concurrent charge of additional chief secretary to government, finance department. He had taken charge as the additional chief secretary of the finance department on June 30 earlier this year. 

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February 27,2024

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Bengaluru, Feb 27: Karnataka Large and Medium Industries Minister M.B. Patil on Monday assured that henceforth 24.1 per cent of the land in industrial areas developed by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) will be reserved for Dalit entrepreneurs, as per rules.

In a meeting convened with the delegation led by the Karnataka Dalit Entrepreneurs Association Working President Srinivasa, he said that violations of rules will not be allowed.

The delegation brought to the minister's attention that while regulations mandate 24.1 per cent reservation for Dalit enterprises in KIADB-developed industrial areas, the effective allocation stands at only 16 per cent. Particularly in 12 industrial areas of Bengaluru city, Bengaluru Rural, and Kolar district, 653 acres of land remains to be allotted to Dalit entrepreneurs, Srinivasa said.

In response to this, the Minister stated that nothing could be done in industrial areas where already enterprises are set up. However, moving forward, 24.1 per cent of the land will be reserved for Dalit entrepreneurs in neighbouring industrial areas, he added.

He said that the government remains committed to the cause and authorities concerned will be instructed to adhere to the norms. He said that further discussions would be held with the association.

The Minister Patil said that the issue of unequal treatment towards Dalit entrepreneurs predates the current administration and has persisted through previous governments. He also assured the delegation that necessary actions would be taken accordingly. Principal Secretary, Industries, S. Selvakumar and KIADB CEO Dr. Mahesh were present at the meeting.

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February 23,2024

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Bengaluru, Feb 23: The opposition BJP and JD(S) staged a protest against the Congress government in Karnataka over passing of resolutions against Narendra Modi-led administration’s step motherly treatment, which rocked the Legislative Assembly proceedings on Friday, forcing adjournments.

The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the Assembly, meanwhile, at its meeting Chaired by Speaker U T Khader decided to extend the session by a day to Monday, which was otherwise scheduled to conclude today, for passage of the finance bill and Chief Minister’s reply to discussion on the Budget.

The Opposition demanded that the government withdraw the resolutions.

Leader of Opposition R Ashoka even read out a “counter resolution” condemning the resolutions moved and passed by the government on Thursday as “false, imaginary and politically motivated”, and accused the government of blaming the Centre to hide its failures.

As the opposition’s resolution was read without following due procedures and without the consent of the Speaker, it was not considered or put to vote.

The state government had on Thursday moved and ensured passage of resolutions urging the union government to make sure that no injustice is done to the state in allocation of financial resources, and to frame a legislation regarding fixation of MSP for all crops of farmers.

As the House met for the day on Friday, BJP and JD(S) members trooped into the well of the House.

Ashoka said resolutions were brought against the central government all of a sudden and unilaterally, without bringing it to their notice or discussing it at the BAC meeting; it was also not mentioned in the agenda.

“Why did the government bring the resolution in a hush hush manner, despite having a majority in the House? They could have mentioned it in the agenda and introduced the resolution openly as per procedure and we too would have put forward our stand and objections against the resolutions.

Assembly and its rules have been insulted,” he said while demanding that the resolutions be withdrawn.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister H K Patil, who had moved the resolution on Thursday, defended the government’s action and said the resolution was passed keeping the interest of Karnataka and its people in mind. It was against the injustice meted out to the state and was with facts and figures.

“We had moved the resolution and it was brought by the large number of members of this House. It is the unanimous voice of the people of Karnataka and I condemn the opposition’s objections to this unanimous voice of seven crore people of the state,” he said.

Noting that the government doesn’t need opposition’s consent to bring any resolution in the interest of the people of the state, Patil said resolutions have been moved and passed as per law and there is no question of withdrawing it. “You (opposition) introspect whether you are for Karnataka’s interest or want to do politics.” This elicited a sharp reaction from Ashoka, who asked what Congress MPs from Karnataka were doing in the Parliament, instead of raising the issue there, to which Minister Krishna Byre Gowda retorted by saying that BJP’s 25 MPs in Lok Sabha from the State never raised any issue in the interest of the state. This led to heated arguments between both sides.

Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the Congress which ruled the country for about 55 years in 75 years of independent India, had kept the devolution of funds to states at 20 per cent for a long time; it took 30 years to raise it to 30 per cent after protests and struggle by several states.

The UPA government for 10 years did not heed to the demand of raising it to 40 per cent, but the Modi government soon after coming to power raised it to 42 per cent.

This led to a strong counter from the Congress side, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for some time.

As the House met again, BJP continued to protest from the well of the House, even as Minister Krinsha Byre Gowda requested them to allow the proceedings to go on normally.

To this, Ashoka said, they will withdraw the protest if the government withdraws the resolution.

The state government wants confrontation with the Centre, he further claimed. “If you (govt) don’t want to withdraw your resolution, the chair should allow us to move a resolution in favour of the central government, and let’s discuss it.” With both sides refusing to budge and BJP-JD(S) continuing to protest from the well of the House, the Speaker tried to transact some business amid sloganeering by opposition members.

Amidst the din, the Speaker allowed tabling of certain reports and passage of two bills without any discussion. Even as the Speaker was putting the bills to vote for its passage, Ashoka read out the opposition’s counter resolution, which was neither considered by the Chair, nor it was put to vote.

As the chaos continued, the Speaker adjourned the House to Monday. 

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News Network
February 26,2024

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Bengaluru: A professor of Indian origin at the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom who was invited by the Karnataka Government to attend an event here was denied entry when she landed at Bengaluru airport and was then deported, according to her posts on social media platform X. 

Professor Nitasha Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit academic based in London, in a series of posts on X claimed she was given no reason by immigration officials at Bengaluru airport and received no notice or information in advance from the Indian government that she would not be allowed to enter the country.

There was no immediate comment from the Karnataka government, which had organised a two day 'Constitution and National Unity Convention -2024' on February 24 and 25, to which Kaul was invited as a speaker.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the Kashmiri Pandit academic based in London wrote, “Denied entry to #India for speaking on democratic & constitutional values. I was invited to a conference as esteemed delegate by Govt of #Karnataka (Congress-ruled state) but Centre refused me entry. All my documents were valid & current (UK passport & OCI)."

Kaul claimed that she was given no reason by immigration officials at Bengaluru airport and received no notice or information in advance from the Narendra Modi-led Indian government that she would not be allowed to enter the country.

“I spent 12 hours in a flight from London to Bangalore, several hours at immig where they shuttled me here & there, provided no info on process, then 24 hours in a holding cell (no BA flight back until next day) under direct cctv w restricted movement, a narrow area to lie down," she said.

“…and no easy access to food and water, made dozens of calls to airport for basic things as a pillow and blanket, which they refused to provide, then 12 hours on the flight back to London," she added. 

Reacting to the development, the Karnataka BJP was quick to label the professor an "anti-India element" and a part of what it called a 'Break India Brigade', criticizing the Karnataka Government and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for extending an invitation to Kaul. 

The BJP also went on to label Kaul a "Pakistani sympathiser" and posted headings of a couple of her writings on X. 

The saffron party claimed the Congress government was "threatening the unity & integrity of India" by extending an invitation to the Kashmiri Pandit professor -- who has written and spoken extensively on Kashmir, Bhutan, and other topics.

The BJP used the opportunity to claim that the Congress is "now using Karnataka as its laboratory to prepare the ground for its divisive agendas". "Thanks to our security agencies, one such anti-India element was caught suspiciously entering India and detained at the airport", it further said.  

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