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Congress wants Manmohan's pictures on 108 ambulances

Special Correspondent

— File photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

row over pictures:The 108 ambulances sport the pictures of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Health Minister B. Sriramulu.

Bangalore: The Congress on Thursday demanded display of pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the ambulances (108) that provide 24x7 services under the Arogya Kavacha scheme which is partly funded by the Union Government.

Dissatisfied with the reply given to N. Sampangi (Congress) by Health Minister B. Sriramulu during Question Hour in the Legislative Assembly, the Congress members strongly demanded that pictures of Dr. Singh be displayed since the Arogya Kavacha scheme was being implemented with the funding of both Union and State Governments.

Putting up pictures of Mr. Sriramulu and Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on ambulances has stirred up a row and the Opposition threatened to stage a dharna in the House if the Minister was against putting up the Prime Minister's pictures.

To counter the Opposition, Ministers R. Ashok and B.N. Bache Gowda said they would also stage a dharna demanding display of pictures of former Prime Minister A.B. Vajapayee on Golden Quadrilateral express highways which were allegedly removed by the Congress Government after it came to power in 2004. With Opposition and ruling party levelling charges against each other on the issue, Speaker K.G. Bopaiah said he would allow a debate on the issue later.

Earlier, Mr. Sriramulu said that the Government had utilised only 5 per cent of the Central funds for implementing the scheme.

However, the Centre had released Rs. 112.50 crore to the State under the 12 {+t} {+h} Finance Commission.

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah said the Minister was misleading the House by providing inaccurate information and the share of the Union Government and State was 90:10.

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