Karnataka: Frequent bypolls keep ministers busy, affect administrative work | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The frequent bypolls Karnataka has been witnessing since two years and the ongoing assembly elections in four states and one Union Territory, seem to be taking a toll on the state’s administration.
For most of the ministers in the Yediyurappa cabinet are being deputed for campaigning on and off, leaving administrative matters in their respective departments to officials. This is at a time when murmurs about increasing pendency of files in various departments are growing louder and people are complaining about not being able to meet ministers.
The April 17 byelections to Basavakalyan and Maski assembly constituencies and Belagavi Lok Sabha seat will be the third set of bypolls the state will see since December 2019. Earlier, 17 assembly segments went for bypolls in two tranches and a majority of them were necessitated following resignation of 16 Congress and JD(S) MLAs, who switched camps to help BJP form the government.
Soon, Sindagi will see a bypoll, necessitated by the demise of sitting MLA MC Managuli last year. The Election Commission is expected to announce poll schedule any time.
In the bypolls held for 15 seats in December 2019, the entire cabinet, including Yediyurappa, was on the ground for over 20 days, bringing administrative work to a standstill. Even when bypolls to Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Sira were held, four to five ministers were seen campaigning in each of these two seats every day for about 10 days. Currently, the BJP has deputed teams of ministers, including Jagadish Shettar, Umesh Katti, B Sriramulu, Laxman Savadi and Basavaraj Bommai – all in charge of ministries that deal with key public issues on a daily basis – to camp in constituencies allotted to them till canvassing is over on April 15.
“The fact that transport minister Savadi is camping in Basavakalyan despite public transport staff being on strike shows the BJP’s priority is elections and not people’s problems,” said state Congress spokesperson VS Ugrappa.
An MLA of the ruling party too expressed displeasure over ministers campaigning for byelections for days at end. “In the first set of bypolls, the survival of the government was in question. So it was justifiable for our ministers and the CM to campaign vigorously, setting aside their department works. But what is the necessity to deploy so many ministers in subsequent bypolls, when the outcome will have no bearing either on the government or the BJP,” he asked.
Not just in the state, several ministers even stationed themselves in West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu for days to campaign for the party. While minister Aravind Limbavali is in West Bengal since the past 10 days, deputy CM CN Ashwath Narayan and minister Byrathi Basaraj returned to the state after campaigning in Kerala and Tamil Nadu for over two weeks.
And it’s not over yet. More elections are coming up, starting with taluk and zilla panchyats to the long-pending BBMP polls.
HDK took Rs 10cr from Basavakalyan candidate for party ticket: Zameer
Congress MLA BA Zameer Ahmed Khan on Wednesday accused former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy of taking Rs 10 crore to give JD(S) ticket to Basavakalyan candidate Syed Yasir Ali Qadri.
He has been alleging that the JD(S) has chosen to field a Muslim candidate in a bid to divide the community votes to help the BJP.
Denying the allegation, Kumaraswamy said Khan is stooping to lower levels to attack him personally. Khan had earlier commented on his skin tone, prompting JD(S) functionaries to file a police compliant on charges of racial slur.

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