Bengaluru: Soon after Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said he was considering developing Belagavi as the second capital of the state to assuage the feelings of people of North Karnataka, demands are now being made by people in Davangere and Kalaburgi to consider these places for the second capital status. Recently, the CM, in order to pacify agitators from the N-K region had said that he had thought of making Belagavi the second capital way back in 2006 but subsequent governments did not give credence to it. Mr Kumaraswamy was forced to make this statement for attacking people of N-K region and Koppal in particular for demanding the complete waiver of crop loans though they not vote for the Janata Dal (Secular) in the 2018 Assembly polls.
This statement had not gone down well with Congress leaders who are now planning to put pressure on the coalition government to declare their cities as the second capital due to the lack of developments all these years. Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge had openly said that creation of a second capital was not a good idea and instead, taking up allround development of the Mumbai-Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karnataka regions was the right step.
Former minister and senior Congress leader, Mr Shamanur Shivashankarappa wanted his home district-Davangere as the second capital as it is situated right in the centre of Karnataka. "Our region too has not seen development for the last many years. In fact, at the time of re-organisation of states, there was a demand to make Davangere the state capital but that did not happen. Since the CM is now talking of creating a second capital, I feel Davangere is ideal because of good road and rail connectivity. A demand to this effect will be put before Mr Kumaraswamy in due course. We are totally opposed to making Belagavi the second capital".
A BJP leader who spoke on the condition of anonymity (following gag orders issued by State BJP President B S Yeddyurappa against commenting on the second capital issue) felt the CM should have made a personal visit to Belagavi to ascertain if infrastructure is available for a second capital. The Suvarna Vidhana Soudha is situated 13 kms away from the city and all roads get crammed during the session due to VVIP movement. “First, let the coalition government create infrastructure in Belagavi and then the CM can implement his 'dream project,”he remarked.
A senior JD(S) leader said shifting of some departments to Belagavi was not possible as the Suvarna Soudha was congested and cannot house too many employees. Two years ago, senior MLC, Mr Basavaraj Horatti who was the chairman of the Assurance Commiittee had submitted a detailed report to the previous government about the changes to be done to Suvarna Soudha to shift departments from Bengaluru. The Suvarna Soudha is not as big as Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru and too much space has been wasted for interior design.
Many offices from Suvarna Soudha have to be temporarily shifted during the Belagavi session to accommodate hundreds of staff and files. A huge building on the lines of MS Building in Bengaluru, needs to be built near Suvarna Soudha to have all offices under one roof. It is not possible in the current situation due to government's commitment to waive crop loans worth Rs 48,000 crore, said sources....