Union Labour and Employment minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday accused chief minister BS Yeddyurappa of not attending 'major functions' that involved projects sponsored by the Centre.
"He has time to distribute sarees and blouses worth Rs 80 or Rs 90 but no time to attend a Rs 1,000 crore (value of the centrally-sponsored projects) function", Kharge said here.
He was referring to Yeddyurappa distributing sarees to beneficiaries of 'Bhagyalakshmi' scheme in the state recently.
Kharge, hailing from Karnataka, was speaking at the inaugural function of ESIC model hospital at Rajajinagar here.
He noted Yeddyurappa's absence at today's function and at a programme on central university and medical college in his hometown of Gulbarga sometime ago, which collectively brings in an investment of Rs 1,000 crore.
"If chief minister comes to such functions, we and officials of the Central government get encouragement. It helps in quick decision-taking. I am not saying he has to come to small functions. But for major functions, say above Rs 100 crore projects, he has to come. I am saddened (that he does not come to such functions)," Kharge said.
Kharge likened the Central schemes to that of 'buffet system' in the sense that the States who come first seeking central funds and pursue their case get the money.
The minister told state labour minister B N Bachegowda and law and parliamentary Affairs minister S Suresh Kumar, the local MLA -- present at the function -- to convey his sentiments to the chief minister.
He said his ministry has committed Rs 1,600 crore to the state to modernise ESIC hospitals here, Hubli, Davanagere and Mysore, building a hospital for Beedi workers in Mangalore, a dental college here and installation of new equipment, among others.
Kharge said ESIC hospitals are not being run properly by all states despite the Centre giving a 87.5% grant.
"Health services are not being put to good use. It's not reaching the poorer sections", he said, adding, states were directed to address these issues.