Karnataka govt gears up to fight water shortage

Bengaluru: With the Assembly polls now officially slated for May 12, the state Cabinet  met  on Tuesday to discuss the Congress party's poll strategy. While instructing his colleagues to take complete responsibility of their respective districts and ensure the victory of party candidates, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is believed to have advised them to counter the BJP in all possible ways and use innovative campaigns to reach out to voters.

The Cabinet was , however, unable to clear pending files with the model code of conduct coming into enforce, but it did  discuss the summer drinking water scenario for the city and instructed  deputy commissioners to use their funds to tackle any shortage that may arise in the districts by drilling borewells, repairing hand pumps and supplying water through tankers.

The Chief Minister  instructed senior ministers, H.K. Patil and Kagodu Thimmappa to hold a meetings with the officials  concerned to tackle the situation on a war- footing, revealed sources.

While the state government has written to the Centre to extend the term of Chief Secretary Rathna Prabha, who is set to retire on March 21, for four months with the poll date being  announced, it has not received a response as yet.

The  BJP state unit, for its part, demanded that the Election Commission stay the decisions taken by the last two Cabinet meetings in view of the fast approaching elections. 

Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, BJP state general secretary, Shobha Karandlaje alleged that the state cabinet had cleared several files and awarded tenders for many projects without doing its homework properly in view of the coming elections.

She also claimed that the Chief Minister had cleared several files and ordered transfers of officials over the last two days.

"The government has tried to loot the state to the maximum in the last two days and has sent Rajendra Kataria on leave from the Mines and Geology department to allow this," she charged, urging the ECI to look into the issue.

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