BJP celebrates 1-yr in office in Karnataka digitally

Updated July 27, 2020

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Bengaluru, July 27 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrated its 1-year rule in Karnataka, with a 90-minute inaugural programme in the city, streamed digitally in all the 30 districts across the state for the benefit of the party cadres and the public.

"The programme was also telecast live from the banquet hall in Vidhana Soudha (state secretariat) on all Kannada channels across the southern state to reach out to citizens, as Covid induced restrictions prevented the state government from holding a public event with a large gathering," the official told IANS here.

Wearing mask and maintaining social distance, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa marked the week-long celebrations by lighting the lamp and releasing a booklet in Kannada on the state government's achievements through the year despite floods in mid-2019 and the corona virus pandemic since mid-March.

Yediyurappa took oath as chief minister for the fourth time on July 26, 2019 three days after the 14-month JD-S-Congress coalition government fell following loss of majority in the Assembly by its chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on July 23, 2019.

While the chief minister and party's state unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel and a couple of ministers participated in the main event here, all the 3 deputy chief ministers (Govind Karjol, Laxman Savadi and C.N. Ashwath Narayan) and other cabinet ministers joined it from the districts they are in-charge of.

A 5-minute documentary film was also beamed live on the occasion, covering events and developments through the year, with Yediyurappa in the centre of action.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the chief minister said though the BJP government began its rule for the third time on its own a year ago in challenging times as heavy rains and floods wreaked havoc in the state's northwest region, it embarked on development programmes and welfare schemes as promised in the party's poll manifesto ahead of the 2018 assembly elections in the state.

"Within days of returning to power a year ago, we had to grapple with heavy rains and floods that wreaked havoc in the state's northwest region. Rescue and relief operations and rehabilitating the affected people in thousands were carried on war footing. New houses, roads and bridges were built to restore normalcy and improve infrastructure," recalled Yediyurappa.

By-elections in 15 assembly segments in the state on December 5, 2019 to fill vacancies caused by resignations of the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) legislators in July 2019, cabinet expansion on February 6, 2020 and presentation of the state budget for fiscal 2020-21 on March 5, 2020 also took much time of the party's leaders and ministers.

Of the 15 assembly by-polls, the BJP won 12, the Congress 2 and an Independent 1, giving the ruling party comfortable majority (117) in the 225-member House with the support of 2 Independents.

"Just as we were settling to implement the programmes mentioned in the state budget with effect from April 1, the coronavirus outbreak in mid-March came in the way of fast-tracking them, as the entire government machinery had to grapple with the crisis since March 25, as extended lockdown till May 31 disrupted every activity," the official said.

After heading the state as a one-man cabinet for 25 days, Yediyurappa formed his ministry by inducting 17 party legislators as ministers on August 20 and expanded it on February 6, 2020 with 10 more who were re-elected in the December 5 by-elections after defecting from the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).

From July 29-31, the party's cadres will plant 1 crore saplings all over the state and distribute pamphlets in 50-lakh houses across the state on its government's performance, welfare programmes and social schemes under implementation for the people.

Party's state unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel and other leaders will also address the party cadres online on August 1.

The state government also amended the Karnataka Land Reform Act through an ordinance, announced a new industrial policy to attract investments and create thousands of jobs over the next 5 years.

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