Puttur, Jan 08, 2018: Chief minister Siddaramaiah on Jan 7, Sunday dropped clear hints that Puttur MLA Shakuntala Shetty will be the candidate for the legislative assembly from here in the upcoming elections as well.
"It is your duty to ensure Shakuntala Shetty’s victory once again," Siddaramaiah told a packed crowd in Puttur, where he unveiled projects worth Rs 66.86 crore. He praised the only woman legislator in the district for bringing funds worth Rs 800 crore into Puttur, during her tenure since 2013. However, as witty as he is, the chief minister took a slight dig at the MLA for switching over to the BJP in the previous decade, before coming back into the Congress.
Siddaramaiah also made it clear that Bantwal MLA and minister for forest, ecology and environment, Ramanath Rai, and Mangaluru constituency MLA and food and civil supplies minister, U T Khader, will also be given tickets from their respective constituencies.
He praised the "healthy competition" among the seven Congress legislators in the district, in connection with raising funds for their respective constituencies.
Shakuntala, earlier in her speech, had stressed on the point, saying since 1980 to 2013, the cumulative amount brought in by legislators to Puttur, was far less than the Rs 800 crore that she raised as an MLA in four years and eight months. She said a road development project in Puttur town will be taken up in two months at a cost of Rs 10 crore.
Make Puttur a district : Hopeful of a victory in the upcoming elections, Shakuntala demanded that the chief minister declare Puttur as a new district, during the government’s next tenure. She urged Siddaramaiah to set up a medical college, a mega drinking water project comprising multiple villages, and a mini airport in Puttur. She also demanded 12 mega drinking water projects in Bantwal. Shakuntala told Siddaramaiah that 30 acres have been earmarked to set up an international stadium, and sought funds for the project.
Taking potshots at Union minister D V Sadananda Gowda, who was earlier the chief minister of Karnataka and also the MLA of Puttur, Shakuntala said Sadananda as a chief minister hailing from the land, had done nothing for the development of the taluk.
Siddaramaiah later left for Moodbidri to launch various development schemes. Siddaramaiah will be leaving for Udupi on Monday.
Right-wing activists detained before CM’s arrival
BJP workers and Sangh Parivar activists protested upon the arrival of the chief minister, by waving black flags in Belthangady and Puttur. While around 25 workers of the saffron outfits staged a protest on the road, on which Siddaramaiah was supposed to ply from the helipad to the stage programme, another 25 workers waved black flags and shouted slogans against him in Puttur. They were detained by the police before the chief minister’s arrival.