As part of the Minister's Jan Ashirwad Yatra itinerary, he was scheduled to visit the dead soldier's family and offer condolences to them.
Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment A Narayanaswamy visited the residence of a living soldier, instead of the one who had died, after apparently being misled by local leaders, and announced a government job and land to his kin.
The gaffe happened on Thursday, when the newly appointed Minister in the Modi government was in Gadag district, as part of his ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’.
According to BJP sources, Narayanaswamy was taken to the house of Ravikumar Kattimani, who is currently posted in the Jammu and Kashmir region, instead of taking him to the house of Basavaraj Hiremath, who died in Pune a year ago.
As part of the Minister’s itinerary, he was scheduled to visit the dead soldier’s family and offer condolences to them.
Sources said Narayanaswamy, who was behind the schedule when he reached the district’s Mulagund along with Member of Parliament Shivakumar Udasi, was taken to Kattimani’s residence, much to the surprise of family members.
The Minister, who enquired the family members, announced that a government job would be given to one of them and also land, which left them in a state of “shock and confusion”.
Later, a local BJP worker who knew about the family, made a video call to soldier Kattimani and asked the minister to speak to him directly, they said, adding that after realising the “blunder”, Narayanaswamy trying to control the damage praised the soldier’s service and felicitated the family members, before he left.
After leaving the soldier’s residence, the Minister took local BJP leaders to task for embarrassing him, by providing wrong information, party sources added.
“My husband is working in Kashmir, it has been two months since we got married. The Minister coming to our house and inquiring about us caused some confusion, but neighbours said he might be coming out of respect to soldiers serving in border areas….when he started
assuring job and land, I told him that my husband is there and I will have to ask him”, Kattimani’s wife told local media.
Noting that someone had given wrong information to the Minister, she said the family was relieved only after speaking to her husband.
“….it caused unnecessary tension to us and my husband there.”
The Minister however did not visit the dead soldier Hiremath.
“No one came to our house. He (Minister) is said to have gone to the house of a soldier who is alive…I only want my son back,” an emotional Hiremath’s mother said.
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