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Karnataka CM loses cool as power station workers block convoy

Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Wednesday lost his cool when employees of the Yermarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS) in Raichur district blocked his convoy to submit a list of their grievances.

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Bengaluru Published on: June 26, 2019 16:02 IST
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H D Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister of Karnataka

 Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Wednesday lost his cool when employees of the Yermarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS) in Raichur district blocked his convoy to submit a list of their grievances.

Kumaraswamy shouted at a group of workers who approached him. The chief minister was in Raichur for his 'Grama Vastavya' (village stay) programme.

"You voted for Narendra Modi and want me to get your works done! You want me to give you respect. Should I baton-charge you? Leave the place," he told the YTPS employees, leaving onlookers shocked. The chief minister then left the place.

Later, Kumaraswamy told a television channel that he had sought 15 days time to address the workers' grievances but they blocked the road which made him angry.

He asked if the Prime Minister's convoy was blocked would anyone accept it.

This government is tolerant, but it is not incapable and knows how to deal with situations, said the 59-year-old chief minister.

He will spend the night at a government higher primary school in Karegudda under Manvi Taluk of the district as part of his 'Grama Vastavya' programme. This is the chief minister's second such stay, the first was in Chandaraki village in Yadgiri district.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka BJP condemned the chief minister's outburst and threatened to stage state-wide agitations if Kumaraswamy did not apologise to the masses.

BJP MLC and spokesperson N Ravi Kumar said Kumaraswamy seemed to have forgotten that he is the chief minister of 6.5 crore people of the state and not only of some Janata Dal (Secular) workers and legislators.

Kumar said the chief minister's act was against democracy.

"This is against democracy. The chief minister should immediately seek an apology from the people. He should call them and hear them. If this continues, the BJP will agitate against him across the state," Kumar told PTI.

He reminded the chief minister that the purpose of the "Grama Vastavya" programme was to address the grievances of farmers, workers, women, children and people at large. 

It further said that in some contexts, women have experienced stagnation, or even decline, in their capacity to have an income of their own due to adverse labour market conditions or severe curtailment of work-family reconciliation measures. 

“Both China and India have seen a decline in women's labour force participation rates (LFPR), albeit under very different socio-economic conditions, while experiencing stunning rates of economic growth.

The fall in women's LFPR (for those aged 25–54) in India is one of the largest globally (6.9 percentage points) during the period 1997–2018, the report said. 

The report also said that in India, while the number of divorcees has doubled over the past two decades, still only 1.1 per cent of women are divorced, with those in urban areas making up the largest proportion.

Noting that divorce rates are generally low in India, it said that the default regime is a separation of property and the right to maintenance is weakly enforced.

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