Karnataka: Cong jubilant over roll back of farm laws; JD(S) calls it a pre-poll move; BJP hails Modi

News Network
November 19, 2021

Bengaluru, Nov 19: Congress leaders were in a jubilant mode over the roll back of the contentious farm laws by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. The BJP leaders hailed the move, but maintained that the decision has not been taken in the backdrop of elections.

Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda stated, "I welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to repeal the three farm laws. My salute to all the farmers who put up democratic resistance against the laws. Debate and discussion is key in a parliamentary set up."

Former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa lauded the decision. He said, "The decision has not been made in view of the upcoming elections. This is not a question of winning or losing, the decision has been made in the interest of the farmers."

"The Central government has given good news to the farming community. We pray for the souls of agitating farmers who lost their lives during the protests," he said.

Opposition leader Siddaramaiah stated that it was a comprehensive victory for the sons of soil.

He further stated that now people are geared up for agitation on price hikes of essential commodities, including fuel.

"However mighty the dictator could be, no matter how broad is his chest (referring to Prime Minister Modi's earlier statement) he should bow down before the might of people. This is the beauty of democracy. This day could be marked as an independence day for farmers," he explained.

Siddaramaiah has given a title of 'Jai Kisan' to his statements on repealing farm laws and congratulated the agitators for putting up a "solid movement" against the Central government.

"This is not a time to rest. It is not only farm laws, every policy and programme of the Central government is anti-people. The farmer's movement against the BJP government will continue," he said.

Janata Dal (Secular) sees the Centre’s decision as a pre-poll drama. Former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy stated that he suspects that the decision is being taken in the backdrop of pending elections to five states. He described the roll back of "dark farm laws" as a historic victory for farmers.

"The Central government has heaped inhuman violence upon them, many innocents had to pay up with their lives. The decision should be genuine and the Prime Minister should have promised farmers that the laws won't be brought back after elections," he said.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai stated that the BJP government is sensible. "Our Prime Minister has reciprocated to the demands of farmers and there is no connection with the elections to five states," he said.

The process of liberalisation and globalisation started at the time of Congress-led UPA government. To facilitate them, they formulated new policies and laws. The World Trade Agreement was also signed during the UPA rule, which includes reforms in the agricultural market, he said.

Congress State President D K Shivakumar described the development as a historical victory for farmers and the Congress party. He said that the farm laws were detrimental to the interests of farmers.

Hundreds of farmers have sacrificed their lives for the movement. Now, the Central government has kneeled before the farming community. This is a victory of democracy against a "dictatorial and sick mindset," Shivakumar added.

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News Network
January 2,2022

Bengaluru, Jan 2: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka has again stirred the hornets' nest in the state by declaring that it will set more than 35,500 temples that come under the Muzarai department free from government regulations.

The Opposition, Congress, has said that it will not allow the BJP to enact such a law. State Congress President DK Shivakumar stated that a decision will be taken on this matter on January 4, after holding a meeting of its senior leaders.

The BJP's announcement came during the recent state executive committee meeting in Hubballi right after the Muzarai department took the decision of getting the temples audited.

Successive Congress governments and the secular leaders have not dared to touch upon the subject of bringing transparency in temple managements and holding powerful temple authorities responsible for accounts. Even the Siddaramaiah government, branded as anti-Hindu, did not address the issue. The recent decision of freeing temples from government control by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has surprised many.

The declaration has kicked off a debate in the state. Congress' Shivakumar has charged that the decision on temples will be a historical blunder. He said that the decision is a conspiracy to hand over the temples to the RSS and BJP leaders.

Chakravarthy Sulibele, the founder of Yuva Brigade, told IANS that the BJP has taken a good and wise decision to hand over the temples' managements to the Hindu community. The concept of 'taking control' originated during the time of the Mughals and the Britishers. The Britishers, being an occupying force, even brought legislation such as the 'Endowment Acts' to take control of Hindu temples, he said.

"When the government is managing the affairs, there is room for suspicion. Temple administrators take decisions at their convenience rather than the devotees' convenience. Wherever there is less money in the collection boxes before temples, they neglect them totally," he opined.

"The administrators will break all traditions when there is a VIP or minister's visit to the temple. In the temples where there is private management, such things are not encouraged. Here, they go against all the traditions to please ministers and block devotees. The total administration should go to community members," he said.

However, Shivakumar questioned how temples that come under the Muzarai department be given to community members for administration. He said that it is the wealth of the government, and that collections are in crores at these temples.

Actor and Tamil Nadu BJP leader Khushboo Sundar has praised the Karnataka BJP government for taking a stand to free the temples from the control of the government authorities. "It is an extremely important decision as every other religious institution is free, except temples," she said.

Chief Minister Bommai stated that Hindu temples have suffered a lot under the control of state authorities and bureaucrats. Several rules and by-laws are detrimental to the development of temples. The new bill will be brought before the cabinet before the budget session.

The temple authorities will be under the regulation of the government, but they will be able to utilise their funds for the development of temples without having to wait for the nod of the government, he maintained.

After the attacks by Shivakumar, Bommai has stated that "we are not handing over the temples to anyone. The temples are being freed from the regulations of the government. Shivakumar's opinion is against the Hindu temples and Hindu devotees."

Siddalnga Prabhu, member of the Rajya Dharmika Parishat, told IANS that it is a good decision, but that the disadvantages are more if one considers the pros and cons of the decision. Presently, deputy commissioners and administrators discuss the issues and there is accountability from the temples, he said. "The temples have properties and we have seen disputes and attempts to take away the land belonging to temples. Giving independence to 'A' and 'B' grade temples is okay as they have a good source of income. But, what about 'C' grade temples," he said.

Sources in the Muzarai department told IANS that the matter is yet to be discussed with the ministry. The fears expressed are about the temple money being taken by the government for other purposes. However, the income of temples will be deposited in bank accounts of the temples and it will be utilised for their development. The Muzarai department will take 10 per cent of the income and utilise it for the repair and renovation of 'C' grade temples. Since this is the case, there is no scope for freeing the temples, a senior official in the Muzarai department said.

Whenever a structure is registered as a mosque and prayer hall, it comes under the Karnataka State Wakf Board, which is a government body. There is a misconception and the government has to give more clarity on the issue, the official stated. The efforts by the Muzarai department to streamline the system at the famous Kukke Subramanya temple in Dakshina Kannada district is well appreciated by the devotees, the official said.

There are 1.80 lakh temples in Karnataka, among which 35,500 temples come under the Muzarai department. As per the records of the Muzarai department, there are 207 'A' grade temples that get an annual income of more than Rs 25 lakh, 139 'B' grade temples that have an income between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 24.99 lakh. These 'A' and 'B' grade temples are required to submit accounts annually, as mandated by the law.

Only four temples in the state i.e. Chamundeshwari temple of Mysuru, Yediyur Siddalingeshwara temple, Ghati Subramanya temple and Banashankari temple of Bengaluru are submitting audit reports every year. Barring these temples, cash-rich temples and the managements of those temples having huge incomes through commercial activities and commercial complexes have not submitted accounts.

At a time when temple accountability is being sought and powerful temple managements are warned of legal action, the announcement by CM Bommai has raised many questions. With the Opposition Congress' declaration that it won't let it happen — after the Anti-conversion Bill and the ban on cow slaughter — the stage is all set for a 'temple dangal' in the state in the coming days.

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News Network
January 6,2022

Mangaluru, Jan 6: Six police personnel, including a female Sub-Inspector Rosamma, attached to Pandeshwar women's police station were suspended for gross negligence of duties and indiscipline in separate incidents by the Mangaluru Commissioner of Police Shashi Kumar N.

SI Rosamma was suspended for delaying the registering of a case under POCSO against a head constable, Sashi Kumar said.

The others suspended, five police officers, attached to the women's police station, including two ASI and head constables, were found dancing and making merry inside the police station.

"Based on CCTV footage, reports of ACP and DCP, the action to suspend five cops was taken, " the Commissioner said.

He also added that the entire staff in Pandeshwar Womens police station had been replaced.

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News Network
January 11,2022

Bengaluru, Jan 11: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who tested positive for Covid-19, was shifted to a private hospital on Tuesday. The doctors have stated that the CM was showing mild symptoms and there was no problem as such.

CM Bommai was shifted to hospital on the suggestion of doctors and a few tests will be conducted on him. He turned positive for Covid on Monday and was kept in home isolation.

Bommai has called for a high-level virtual meeting of senior officers and technical committee members on Tuesday to analyse the Covid-19 situation in the state.

Bommai's son and daughter-in-law also tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. However, CM Bommai's wife and daughter have tested negative. Bharath Bommai, the son of CM took to social media said, "I have tested positive for Covid with very mild symptoms. I have isolated myself at home. I would like the people who have come in contact with me to kindly get themselves tested."

His family members were tested following the development. CM Bommai was working from his R T Nagar residence, Race Course Road Government Office and Home Office Krishna. All the staff of these offcies have been tested and their reports are awaited.

Health Minister K Sudhakar stated that he is voluntarily undergoing self-isolation for the next two days since he happened to be a primary contact of CM Bommai. "The Abbott ID Now' test done and it is negative. I will undergo RT-PCR test again after two days," he said.

"Although I am completely asymptomatic and doing absolutely fine, as a responsible citizen, I will undergo self-isolation for two days considering the health and safety of others. All my official programmes stand cancelled and I will continue to work through virtual platforms," he maintained.

"I will undergo RT-PCR test after two days and if the report comes negative I will resume work from Wednesday," Sudhakar said.

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