With the clamour for organising "Hampi Utsava" to showcase and celebrate the rich history of the UNESCO world heritage site Hampi gaining momentum, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Tuesday said he would give directions for organising it in a "simple way."
Citing drought in Ballari district, where Hampi, the seat of erstwhile Vijayanagara empire is located, as the reason, district in-charge Minister D K Shivakumar had announced the event will not be held this year.
"I have not ordered that Hampi Utsava will not be organised this time... there is demand that it be held from certain circles of society, the government has not issued any order cancelling it," Kumaraswamy said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, the decision to defer the "Utsava" was reached at the level of the district in-charge ministers and MLAs after discussion, in the backdrop of the drought situation.
"... if people want Hampi Utsava, I will give directions that it be organised in a simple way," he added.
Members from various fields, including artistes and politicians, have been mounting pressure on the government for organising Hampi Utsava, while questioning it over holding Mysuru Dasara and Tipu Sultan Jayanti, despite drought situation looming large.
Recently BJP MLA and brother of mining baron G Janardhan Reddy - G Somashekar Reddy had said he along with his party workers would also carry out a drive to raise funds from the public if the government says it lacks funds.
Hitting back, Kumaraswamy said his government was not "wretched". "... I know how they have robbed Ballari," he added. Normally held for three days, "Hampi Utsava" is organised to showcase the rich cultural heritage and monuments of the erstwhile Vijayanagara empire.
It also includes programmes like music,dance, puppetry and fireworks among others. The state government has notified 100 taluks of 24 districts as drought-affected.
(With inputs from agencies.)