Row over K’taka compensation to Kerala elephant attack victim on Rahul Gandhi’s ‘advice’

Public TV English
4 Min Read
The elephant trampled a man to death in Kerala's Wayanad earlier in February.

CHIKKAMAGALUR, BENGALURU: A major controversy has broken out after the Karnataka government announced a compensation of Rs 15 lakh to a Kerala family on the ‘advice’ of Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi after an elephant trampled a man hailing from that family was trampled to death. Public TV was the first to report about the compensation being paid by Karnataka to the family of Ajeesh.

The letter written by Karnataka Minister Eshwar Khandre; (right) Rahul Gandhi had met the family of the victim a few days ago.

In a letter to Rahul Gandhi, dated February 19, state Forest, Ecology and Environment Minister Eshwar B Khandre noted, “…as per your advice, to K C Venugopal, which was conveyed through telephonic message to me yesterday, and after discussing with Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister of Karnataka, accordingly, Govt of Karnataka has announced Rs 15 lakhs to the family of the deceased (Ajeesh)…”

Following this, BJP national general secretary and former Chikkamagalur MLA C T Ravi posted on Twitter questioning why the state had to pay Rs 15 lakh for an incident it is not connected with while taking a dig at Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for his ‘My tax my right’ campaign.

“Why is Karnataka government dancing to the tune of a mere CONgress MP from Kerala?…Will CM @siddaramaiah explain to Kannadigas why their money is being spent on the orders of a Silly Dynast whose only achievement in life is being born into the Fake Gandhi dynasty?” he wrote.

BJP state president B Y Vijayendra posted on X, “The @INCKarnataka government’s outrageous misuse of Karnataka taxpayers’ funds to curry favor with Rahul Gandhi is utterly disgraceful. Illegally allocating state fund of Rs.15 lakh to a deceased individual from @RahulGandhi’s Wayanad constituency, falsely blaming a elephant from Karnataka is an appalling betrayal…”.

Opposition leader R Ashoka posted on X stating, “Kannadigas’ tax money into Rahul Gandhi’s pocket” and questoned Eshwar Khandre whether Karnataka was Congress’ property.

Former CM H D Kumaraswamy speaking to media persons outside the Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday.

Former CM and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said, “If our famers seek relief, they give Rs 2,000 out of which 75 per cent is from the Centre. The Chief Minister keeps repeating a lie to make it sound like the truth. The Rs 15 lakh they are giving to some other state is the ‘respect’ they are giving to Kannadigas. In Karnataka, the relief given in elephant trampling cases is just Rs 5 lakh for which the families have to run from pillar to post.

Responding to the issue, Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar said he had no information about it and would speak later. While minister Laxmi Hebbalkar welcomed the move, H C Mahadevappa denied knowledge about the relief.

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