The opposition parties in Karnataka, including the Congress and the Janata Dal (S), have raised objections over the full page advertisement issued in some leading dailies by the state government on Thursday to show its gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi for clearing the Bengaluru Metro project.
In the ad, the state government thanked the Prime Minister “for the landmark decision of granting approval to Phase-2A & 2B of Namma Metro providing Metro connectivity to Kempegowda International Airport”.
The Congress questioned the timing of this spending on advertisements when the entire state is battling the deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and there is no money to honour the Covid warriors.
The Congress also said that the state government had turned down the demand of the workers in the state-run bus transport corporations for a hike in their salary citing shortage of funds.
The Congress said that there is no money for development work and amid Covid deaths, the government is spending a huge amount for ‘propaganda’.
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, whose picture is there in the front-page advertisement, was on Thursday discharged from a private hospital in Bengaluru where he was being treated for Covid-19.
Launching an attack on the government, Janata Dal (S) strongman H.D. Kumaraswamy sent out a video message from the hospital where he is receiving treatment for Covid-19.
In the video, he said, “When I read the papers this morning, it caused me immense pain. When thousands of people are crying on the streets, how can you (government) put out an advertisement with smiling faces?”
He also asked why does the state government need the Centre for clearing the Metro budget.
“This is not some alms that is being given to us. We are at the house of death now. But the government is spending crores on these full-page ads. They are playing with people’s lives. I am saying this with pain that they still have not learnt anything. Was it so important to issue an ad,” he asked.
“There are no beds or medicines and there is a shortage of oxygen. People are dying. In such a situation, what is this message you are sending to the people of this country? The government is playing games at the cost of people’s lives,” Kumaraswamy said.