Bangalore/New Delhi, March 21 : Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and several leaders from the state, including Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily, Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to grant special status to five north Karnataka districts to speed up development of the area.
The districts are Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, Koppal and Bellary. The area is known as ‘Hyderabad-Karnatak region’ and was part of the Hyderabad Nizam’s rule. It became part of Karnataka in 1956 when the Indian states were reorganised on the basis of language.
Yeddyurappa led an all-party delegation to the prime minister following a recent statement of union Home Minister P. Chidambaram rejecting grant of special status to Hyderabad-Karnatak region.
Besides Moily, Yeddyurappa was accompanied by union ministers Mallikarjun Kharge (Labour), who represents Gulbarga in the Lok Sabha, and leaders of the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular in the state legislature and several state ministers.
The Karnataka government and people of the region have been demanding special status under Article 371 of the constitution, which provides for higher central assistance to speed up development of backward areas in the country.
The delegation also sought central assistance to help silk growers and arecanut farmers as prices of these two commodities had declined steeply.
After the meeting, Yeddyurappa told reporters that the prime minister had assured the delegation he would consider the requests.
Bail out for arecanut growers
Amid steep fall in prices of arecanut in Karnataka, the Centre today promised to bail out arecanut growers in the state through a market intervention scheme (MIS).
“We spoke to Union Agriculture Minister about arecanut farmers” problems. He has agreed to set up a MIS with the State to procure the commodity,” Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa told reporters after meeting Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar.
The finances accruing from the scheme will be borne equally by the Centre and state government, he said, adding the modalities of the scheme will be worked out tomorrow.
Apart from the CM, leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly Siddaramaiah and Union Law minister M Veerappa Moily were also present in the meeting.
Arecanut is the seed of the areca palm and it is known as “betel nut”. It is largely grown in Karnataka. According to an official from Karnataka, prices of arecanut have come down to Rs 60 per kg from Rs 130 per kg in 1ast one month as procurement by gutkha companies have virtually stopped because of ban on sale of gutka and pan masala in plastic sachets by the Supreme Court.
In Karnataka, about two lakh hectares are under areacanut and production is expected at three lakh tonnes in 2010-11.
You have to grow from theinside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is noother teacher but your own soul.
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