As the demand for a separate north Karnataka state resurfaced, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said on Tuesday, that the state government was considering shifting some government offices to Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in the region, in an attempt to address alleged discrimination.
Expressing his government's strong commitment for the region's development, the chief minister, who is in the eye of a political storm over the separate state demand issue, said he was one among them as he termed the issue a "conspiracy" by political opponents ahead of next year's Lok Sabha polls.
"There are two Upa Lokayukta's in the state. I have plans to shift one Upa Lokayukta to Suvarna Vidhana Soudha. Then there are about five or six RTI commissioners. Among them is a plan to shift three to northern districts - one to Kalaburagi and the other two to Belagavi Suvarna Vidhana Soudha," he said.
Plans are on to shift several offices, including the 'Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam', to northern districts, he said.
Mr Kumaraswamy said he had already made plans to shift some offices from Bengaluru and to ensure that the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi functions all round the year actively.
"Consider me as one among you (people of north Karnataka)...some people want to create a distance between us by indulging in false propaganda. I have plans and programmes to earn your love and affection," he told representatives of outfits demanding a separate north Karnataka state.
Suvarna Vidhana Soudha in Belagavi, modelled on the lines of the Vidhana Soudha, the state secretariat and legislature in Bengaluru, functions only during the winter session of the state legislature and is shut during the rest of the year.
As the demand for a separate state has snowballed into a political slug fest between the ruling coalition, especially JD(S), and the opposition BJP, the chief minister on Tuesday met representatives of outfits which have called for a day-long bandh in 13 districts of north Karnataka on August 2, alleging discrimination by successive governments towards it.
'Uttara Karnataka Pratyeka Rajya Horata Samiti' (North Karnataka Separate Statehood Protest Committee) has alleged discrimination in allocation towards the region in the budget presented by Mr Kumaraswamy on July 5, and also inadequate representation in the cabinet.
Seeking time to address issues faced by the region, the chief minister said he wants industries to come up in north Karnataka and urged that he be given at least one year's time, 'without any disturbance,' to carry out various works.
"I'm ready to work for 24 hours. I will not sit quiet," he said.