Minister for Social Welfare Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa said on Friday that the Congress government will hold a "simple and meaningful" Dasara, the state festival, this time in the backdrop of the severe drought situation existing in the state.

Making the announcement on social media, Minister Mahadevappa said that "due to the failure of rain the farmers in the state are in a crisis situation. In this backdrop, it has been decided to celebrate a meaningful Dasara festival."

The festival, which attracts international and national tourists from all over to Mysuru city, is celebrated every year during the festival of Vijayadashami with all the grandeur and pompous style.

The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Sugarcane Cultivators Association and other organisations have demanded a low-key affair celebration on Dasara.

Minister Mahadevappa is the district in-charge minister for Mysuru district and Dasara Executive Committee President. The 10-day Dasara festival will be celebrated in the month of October.

Minister for Social Welfare Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa
Minister for Social Welfare Dr. H.C. MahadevappaIANS

The farmer community has been agitated over the decision of the Supreme Court to release water to Tamil Nadu and if the stay is not issued, they fear that the standing crops in Mysuru, Mandya districts will get destroyed.

The people of the region were expecting that Dasara would be celebrated with all the grandeur as the festival was not celebrated with pomp and show in the past three years.

Sources stated that the decision would be taken on the list of programmes to be organised as part of Dasara festivities. Mahadevappa had earlier sought Rs 30 crore grant for the celebration of the festival. Since CM Siddaramaiah also hails from Mysuru, all preparations were being done for a grand Dasara, however the failure of rain has played spoilsports. The state government had selected famous music director and activist Hamsalekha to inaugurate the Dasara festival and the decision ran into a controversy.

The Karnataka government had declared that 161 taluks are severely hit by drought in the state. The state had also announced 34 taluks have moderate drought.

Cultural procession during the Annual Dasara Jumboo Procession during Mysuru Dasara Festival 2016 in Mysuru, on Oct 11, 2016.IANS

The order stated that during the 2023 Monsoon among the 31 districts and 236 taluks of the state, 195 taluks are facing the drought situation. 161 taluks are regarded as severely affected by drought and 34 are moderately hit by drought. The state government has taken the decision based on the report by the district commissioners done as per the guidelines of drought declaration guidelines of the central government.

(With inputs from IANS)