In I-Day speech, Karnataka CM Bommai unveils job scheme for kin of martyred soldiers

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday announced a new scheme to provide employment to one family member of soldiers killed in the line of duty.

“Soldiers dedicate and sacrifice their lives to protect our country. If a soldier from the state dies on duty, a government job will be provided to one member of his family on compassionate grounds to provide security to his family,” he said in his Independence Day speech.

Among other new initiatives, Bommai said that Rs 250 crore would be allocated for ensuring a clean and hygienic environment in government schools and colleges by increasing toilet coverage. A loan subsidy of Rs 50,000 for backward-class and scheduled-caste artisans was also announced.

The Raitha Vidya Nidhi scheme to provide scholarships for farmers’ children to pursue higher education, announced in July 2021 by Bommai as his first major development scheme, would be extended to landless agricultural laborers.

“Over 4,000 new Anganwadis will be opened with a special focus on the dwellings of landless labourers. With this initiative, children of 16 lakh families would benefit from nutrition and early education. This will also create job opportunities for 8,100 women,” Bommai said.

After drawing flak from the Opposition Congress for omitting Jawaharlal Nehru from publicity issued to mark the 75th anniversary of Independence, Bommai hailed the first prime minister’s historic role.

“A large number of freedom fighters laid down their lives to liberate India from the British administration. The contributions and sacrifices of Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Bhagat Singh, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru and many others are historic,” he said in his Independence Day speech.

“In Karnataka, much before the freedom movement began, Kittur Veera Rani Channamma and Veera Sangolli Rayanna and many others fought against the British. Kannadigas should in fact be proud of their sacrifices and martyrdom. The country achieved freedom because of the sacrifices of all such personalities,” he said.

“In fact, we are enjoying the fruits of their sacrifices and martyrdom. Hence, we should realise the significance of their sacrifices and understand our duties and responsibilities for the welfare of India which, in the true sense, is the respect we should be paying for their martyrdom,” the chief minister said.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah called for an apology from Bommai for the omission of Nehru. “Not including Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the list of freedom fighters in today’s government ad shows how low a CM can go to save his chair,” the Congress leader said on Sunday.

“The CM of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai should apologise to the entire nation for insulting Pandit Nehru. The people of India and Karnataka will never accept anyone who humiliates their country’s first prime minister,” Siddaramaiah said.

The government advertisement featured Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, and V D Savarkar among a list of 10 national freedom fighters and 10 freedom fighters from Karnataka.