Kalaburagi: A high-pitched slugfest pitting district-in-charge Minister Priyank Kharge and estranged Congress MLA from Chincholi MLA Dr Umesh Jadhav against each other, is on in Kalaburgi district.
Both leaders are now at loggerheads following speculation that Dr Jadhav is being wooed by the BJP so that he can be fielded against the elder Kharge in the coming Lok Sabha election. Mr Priyank tried to drive home the point that Dr Jadhav had not been sidelined in the party and he had tried to address major issues such as settling the border dispute with neighbouring Telangana, raised by Dr Jadhav.
On other issues such as setting up of a sugar factory in Chincholi taluk, sanctioning of a lift irrigation scheme at Lower Mullamari irrigation project and starting a forest college, Mr Priyank said more time was needed as they are “major projects”.
This explanation has been sharply opposed by Dr Jadhav. “The border issue is still hanging fire and if Mr Priyank produces evidence that it has been settled, I will lead him in a procession in my Chincholi,” he remarked.
Referring to other issues, Dr Jadhav said, “As per rules, Karnataka Development Programme meetings should be held once in three months. During the last nine months, only one KDP meeting has been held and even that was incomplete. Where does Mr Priyank have time for attending to our problems? Mr Priyank speaks of protocol coming in the way of visiting my constituency. Then how did ministers like M.B. Patil, Krishna Byregowda, R.V. Deshpande and others visit my constituency?”, he asked.
Further Dr Jadhav took a dig at Mr Priyank remarking that he has no moral right to talk about “growing intolerance” in the country. “The Congress is full of leaders who are intolerant towards others. A systematic effort is being to scuttle development activities during the last nine months with a view to check my political growth. The forces which could not digest my growth were behind the recent protest that staged in front of my residence here. Though KPCC Working President Mr Eshwar Khandre, Secretary Shankar Doddi and former Minister Dr Sharanprakash Patil had advised the protesters not to stage the protest, it was held. I know the real leaders behind this protest”, Dr Jadhav fumed indicating it was done at the instance of Mr Priyank.