Karnataka: 2 officials suspended for not inviting Priyank Kharge to an event

Karnataka: 2 officials suspended for not inviting Priyank Kharge to an event

Two Karnataka government officials were suspended for not inviting State Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Minister Priyank Kharge to an event in Mangalore on 31st July, Monday. The officials, Moodbidri Taluk Panchayat Executive Officer Dayavathi and Iruvail Gram Panchayat Panchayat Development Officer Kanthappa were suspended for violation of protocol.

The event was the inauguration of Iruvail panchayat’s new building. Kharge’s name was allegedly not printed on the invitation cards for the inauguration. BJP MLA for Moodbidri Umanath Kotian hit out at the Congress government saying that the officials had followed the protocol guidelines issued by the Deputy Commissioner’s (DC) office.

Kotian issued a warning saying that if the orders are not withdrawn, a protest will be held outside the office of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat office Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anand K. He alleged that the event itself was cancelled.

The CEO reportedly said, “The revocation proposal will be sent to the government by today or tomorrow. If the government considers it positively, they will take a decision on suspension revocation.”

Kotian called out the move before Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at a public meeting. “As per instructions from the DC office, the invitation cards were printed and guest names were mentioned which included the Assembly Speaker UT Khader’s name.” he said.

CEO Anand K reportedly told the media that “It’s not about the minister attending the event. When an invitation card is printed, a protocol has to be followed. Not only printing, but the minister also needs to be personally invited after printing names on the card.”

Kotian said that the invitation did not exclude any names. “Fearing disciplinary action both the EO and PDO postponed the programme. Yet they both were placed under suspension”, he said. Kotian also questioned the rule requiring a minister to be invited to gram panchayat events.

Taking a jibe at the government, Kotain said, “Is it possible for the minister to attend every programme? Isn’t the district-in-charge minister enough for local-level Panchayat programmes?”

Priyank Kharge, son of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, has consistently managed to make headlines ever since becoming a minister. Earlier in June, Congress MLA Priyank Kharge publicly displayed his camaraderie with Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair by referring to the latter as ‘chief.’

Kharge heads the same IT and biotechnology Departments, which were entrusted to set up the ‘fact-checking unit comprising Alt News, Boom Live, E Din, Logical(ly), etc.

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