Book on CM’s political life lands in controversy

Department of Public Instruction asks BEOs to purchase the book and distribute across all 2,417 government aided and unaided schools in Mysuru

A book written on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s political life and people-friendly policies is in the centre of controversy as the Department of Public Instruction in Mysuru has issued a circular to all the Block Education Officers to purchase the book with whatever funds available and keep them in the school library.

The book titled “Itta Guri Ditta Hejje – Samanatheya Sadhakana Sankalpada Haadi” has been compiled and edited by Tumakuru Mahadevaiah and B G Nagaraj and costs Rs 300.

The first circular has been issued on 26-4-2016 by the Deputy Director of Department of Public Instruction stated that over 2,417 books have to be purchased and distributed across all government schools including primary, secondary and high schools in the district. The cost of the book purchase has to be borne by the department and whatever available funds could be used for the purchase, the circular stated.

The second circular sent on 25-05-2016 states that after the purchase and distribution of the book, the entire amount must be sent through Demand Draft to the President, Karnataka Sahitya Vedike, 6th A Cross, Anandarao Extension, Gandhinagar, Bengaluru. The book has been published by Karnataka Sahitya Vedike in Bengaluru.

There are over 2,417 government aided and unaided schools in the district and they are distributed across Mysuru North (167 schools), Mysuru Rural (268 schools), Mysuru South (111 schools), H D Kote (350), Hunsur (330), K R Nagar (280), Nanjangud (316 schools), Periyapatna (320 schools) and T Narasipur (275 schools).

In all, the department needs Rs 7,25,100 lakh to purchase the book to be distributed across the district.

Sources in the department said that similar circulars have been issued all over the state and special focus is on Mysuru, Siddaramaiah’s hometown. Sources said that the government wanted the department to purchase two sets of books and it would cost more than Rs 15 lakh in Mysuru district alone.

While department officials are officially tight-lipped over the book as they are following a government order, in private they admit that this would become a major issue as the departments across the state have been asked to purchase a book that would cost crores of rupees at a time when the state is reeling under fund crunch.

Surprisingly, deviating from the norm of copying circulars to private entities, both the government circulars have been marked to the President, Karnataka Sahitya Vedike.

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