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Drought: Minister Kharge Appeals for Relaxation of Model Code of Conduct

Bengaluru: Minister for Rural Development & Panchayat Raj, Priyank Kharge, appealed to the Election Commission for a model code of conduct relaxation in the state, so that the government can restart the efforts of tackling prevailing drought conditions in the state and hold meetings with the officials in this regard, according to a report.

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Voting for Lok Sabha election concluded recently in Karnataka, but the model code of conduct will remain in force until results are out on June 4.

The minister wrote a letter to Chief Electoral Officer Manoj Kumar Meena highlighting the drought condition and stated that the government declared 223 out of 236 taluks as drought-hit.

Kharge also mentioned the rep0rt of India Meteorological Department, that Karnataka may start receiving monsoon rains a bit late.

The minister stated that the drinking water situation in all taluks is worsening. It is necessary to supply potable water to the people and animals over the next two months.

He has formally requested the Election Commission to grant ministers the authority to conduct meetings addressing drought and drinking water concerns. He stressed the necessity of relaxing the model code of conduct not only to convene these meetings  but also to make crucial decisions.

Additionally, Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda highlighted that water is being supplied via tankers to 270 villages, with private borewells utilized in 594 villages—a situation largely unchanged since March. In urban areas, 150 wards receive water through tankers, while private borewells are employed in 29 wards. Gowda stressed the need for continued vigilance despite recent rains across the state, cautioning that another month of careful observation is necessary.

Gowda mentioned that the Union government had furnished the state with a comprehensive 280-page report from the Inter Ministerial Central Team. This report, part of the legal dispute with the Centre over drought relief allocation, he said it contains certain factual inconsistencies and inaccuracies and it was highlighted before the court. The state is currently scrutinizing the report, intending to file a written statement upon completion. The court proceedings are scheduled to resume in July, he said.

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