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BANGALORE: The special status for six backward districts of Hyderabad-Karnatak region by the Centre under Article 371D will focus on industries and the human development index, besides education and employment.

The regional tag for the six districts of Gulbarga, Yadgir, Bidar, Bijapur, Koppal and Bellary after a long wait of 40 years, is expected to incorporate the Telangana, Marathwada, Saurashtra and Vidarbha models. These are already under Article 371, Union labour minister Mallikarjun M Kharge, hailing from Gulbarga, told STOI on Saturday.

The pathetic state of these districts was mentioned by the DM Nanjundappa Committee, which went into the regional imbalances in North Karnataka region a decade ago. In his report, Nanjundappa had suggested removal of discrimination and amendment to Article 371. The report was prepared after an exhaustive and scientific study over a two-year period and submitted to chief minister SM Krishna.

The report had identified 114 taluks and classified them as most backward, more backward and backward for determining their priorities. Of them, 59 taluks were in North and 55 in South Karnataka.

In the Human Development Index report released in 2008 for Bijapur and Gulbarga, the highlight was that all taluks of Bijapur were backward in terms of income and human development. Gulbarga was at the bottom of the human development index ranking 26{+t}{+h} among the then 29 districts.

There was celebration in the six districts on Saturday. Former CM N Dharam Singh's son Ajay Singh, who has been running an NGO for the uplift of people in Gulbarga said: "When AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi visited Gulbarga during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he had made a promise which has been fulfilled now."

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    Basavaraj Harsur


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