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Lacklustre Republic Day celebrations in Gulbarga

Special Correspondent

Political uncertainty in State casts its shadow on the event



MERE FORMALITY: Primary and Secondary Education Minister R. Ramalinga Reddy receiving the guard of honour at the Republic Day celebrations in Gulbarga on Thursday.

GULBARGA: The uncertainty over the fate of the coalition Government led by N. Dharam Singh and the resultant political turmoil in the State had its impact on the Republic Day celebrations here on Thursday with most legislators from the district keeping away from the official function organised at Chandrasekhar Patil Stadium.

Except for the participation of Gulbarga MP Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi and Mayor Chandrika Parameshwar, none of the 13 MLAs or the two MLCs from the district were present at the function. Even the participation of district in-charge Minister R. Ramalinga Reddy was in doubt till the last minute. But Mr. Reddy, who arrived here in the morning by the Delhi-bound Karnataka Express, was the only saving grace of the celebrations.

The first row of chairs reserved for legislators from the district was vacant, and even politicians, who make it a point to take part in such functions, were absent this time.

However, all senior officials, including Inspector-General of Police Ramakrishna, Deputy Commissioner Anjum Parvez, Gulbarga Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Pankajkumar Pandey, Gulbarga City Corporation Commissioner S.P. Mudhol, Assistant Commissioner Ramesh Begar and others were present.

The lack of participation of legislators, whose presence is required in Bangalore to participate in the confidence vote on Friday to decide the future of the coalition Government, made the celebrations look drab. But for the impressive performance by schoolchildren, the entire event remained a low-key affair.

After unfurling the national flag, Mr. Reddy listed the achievements of the State Government in agriculture such as extending crop loans at 6 per cent interest, extension of the midday meal scheme to the children up to seventh standard, supply of rice at Rs. 3 a kg and achievements in the irrigation sector.

Finance

Mr Reddy said the financial situation of the State has improved owing to the efforts of the coalition Government. He said development activities have picked up momentum owing to the sound financial position of the State under the coalition Government.

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