There have been some reports in the mainstream and social media regarding the visit of the Hon’ble Raksha Mantri (RM) to Kodagu district in Karnataka stating that the RM got angry with the district incharge minister of Kodagu Mr Sa Ra Mahesh during the flood review being taken with the district administration. These reports have also quoted the district incharge minister who has made certain personal remarks against the RM. The remarks have also lowered the dignity of the upper house of the Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and show utter lack of regard and knowledge about the Indian Polity.
In order to clarify the matter, it is imperative that a detailed account of the sequence of events is brought out. The tour program of the RM was finalised by the district administration of Kodagu in consultation with the public representatives. This program was approved and circulated to all concerned two days prior to RM’s arrival. Subsequently, on the request of the district administration, an interaction with the veterans was added to the schedule.
On completion of the field visits, as per the program, RM was interacting with ex-servicemen who had been adversely affected by the floods, when the District incharge minister objected and insisted that meeting with the officials be conducted first. RM clarified that welfare of ex-servicemen was an essential part of the Ministry of Defence and the same was scheduled in the program. However, the district minister insisted that the RM immediately stop the interaction and proceed to the meeting with the officials.
While it was extremely unfortunate, in order to avoid the situation from deteriorating, RM immediately halted the meeting and proceeded to the venue of the meeting with the officials. The venue was already set up for the press conference and hurriedly the officials were summoned to sit among the media persons for the review. It was unprecedented to hold a meeting with the officials, with all the media persons present.
The RM then heard the grievances of the waiting ex-servicemen. Inspite of district administration finalising the program and RM following the same in its entirety it is unfortunate that the minister behaved the way he did. Subsequently, the personal remarks made against the RM were also in bad taste, which do not merit a response.
It has also been noted that there has been gross misrepresentation with regard to the use of the term ‘parivar’ by the RM during the press conference. One of the four departments of the Ministry of Defence is the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare and in that context it was stated that all ex-servicemen are part of the MoD ‘parivar’. Any other inference is misconstrued and uncalled for.
Source : PIB