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Gurmitkal, a prized possession of Congress

By T.V. Sivanandan

GULBARGA, APRIL 18. Gurmitkal is the only constituency in Gulbarga district where voters have very few complaints about their legislator who has been representing it in the Assembly since 1972.

It was a backward constituency without basic amenities till the emergence of the Home Minister, Mallikarjun Kharge, as its "undisputed" leader.

Now the constituency is a prized possession of the Congress. This constituency has proved that if one has the will he can do wonders with available resources.

Yeshodamma, a landless labourer at Balichakra village in the constituency, has been provided with a house under the Ashraya Scheme.

She now leads a happy life with her husband, who is also a farm labourer, and their three children.

Speaking in Telugu, she said unlike in other villages, Balichakra has a drinking water scheme and if it failed, there were two alternative sources of water.

All villages in the constituency have asphalted link roads. Concrete roads with drains have been built in remote places under different schemes.

Narasaiah of Balichakra attributed the development of the constituency to the efforts by Mr. Kharge.

One of the reasons for the constituency to develop in such a manner is the attention given by Mr. Kharge even to small matters such as building concrete roads in villages.

Even when he held important portfolios in successive Congress governments, Mr. Kharge took time to hold meetings to review the progress of development works taken up in the constituency.

Mr. Kharge has not allowed the contractors to rule the roost and "commission'' in development works has no place in the constituency. Review of works and surprise checks conducted by Mr. Kharge have not only ensured the completion of projects on time but also their quality.

Mr. Kharge, who belongs to a Scheduled Caste, could emerge as an "undisputed" leader in the constituency, which is dominated by Reddy Lingayats and Telugu-speaking Reddys, mainly because of his single-minded approach to give no room for complaints about lack of development.

The only complaint against Mr. Kharge is that he has not fulfilled his promise to carve a new district out of Gulbarga with Yadgir as its headquarters.

He had also promised the people to convert Gurmitkal into a taluk headquarters. As a precursor to this, a special officer with the status of tahsildar has been appointed for Gurmitkal.

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