BJP slams Karnataka govt for paying compensation to Kerala man killed by elephant


PTI, Feb 20, 2024, 8:03 AM IST

Representative image (Source: PTI)

Bengaluru: The BJP on Monday accused the Karnataka government of “illegally allocating” Rs 15 lakh to the kin of a Kerala man who was killed by a tuskless elephant that was captured in Karnataka but later strayed into Wayanad in the neighbouring state.

With Congress leader Rahul Gandhi being the MP from Wayanad, the BJP’s Karnataka unit president B Y Vijayendra alleged that the Congress government in Karnataka was misusing taxpayers’ money “to curry favour” with the former party president.

It is utterly disgraceful, he said.

“Illegally allocating state fund of Rs 15 lakh to a deceased individual from Rahul Gandhi’s Wayanad constituency, falsely blaming an elephant from Karnataka, is an appalling betrayal,” Vijayendra, an MLA from Shikaripura, said on social media.

He said that amid crippling drought and hundreds of farmers committing suicides across Karnataka, the Congress government ‘shamelessly prioritised pleasing Rahul Gandhi over addressing the state’s urgent needs’.

“CM Siddaramaiah and his cohorts must be held accountable for unethically looting Karnataka taxpayers’ money and state treasury to cater to the Congress High Command’s greed,” the BJP state chief said.

Amidst the Congress party’s struggle for survival, its ministers are sparing no effort in plundering every last rupee of the state’s coffers, Vijayendra alleged.

On Sunday, Karnataka Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre said the state government has agreed to pay compensation to the Kerala man on par with the indemnity paid to the people of Karnataka killed by an elephant.

The tuskless male elephant was captured in Belur taluk of Hassan district on November 30, 2023, and translocated to the Bandipur Forest area. After more than two months, it was found that it had strayed into Wayanad district of Kerala.

On February 10, a man was killed by the elephant in the Wayanad district of Kerala. Following this, elected representatives and the Government of Kerala had requested the Karnataka government to be largehearted and pay compensation for that case, the minister’s office said.

The statement said Khandre took up the matter of payment of compensation with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday.

“The chief minister agreed to pay compensation to the family of Ajeesh on par with any person of Karnataka,” the statement read.

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