After wait in sun, war veterans get only CM’s speech

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Bengaluru: Nearly 50 ex-servicemen, who had turned up at Brigade Road with their medals for the inauguration of the renovated War Memorial and TenderSURE projects, left the venue disappointed after waiting under the sun for more than an hour on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was supposed to arrive at the venue at 11 am but there was no sign of him till noon. Soon after his arrival, the entire focus was on the TenderSURE projects and the “achievements” by the Congress government in the past four years.
The ex-servicemen felt they were invited for a political event and not for paying tribute to soldiers. Most of the war veterans left the venue fuming while the chief minister’s speech was in progress.
War veteran Veerappa M. Gumkar said, “We have been insulted here. Our presence was not acknowledged in the welcome address by MLA N A Haris. There is no discussion about the War Memorial or the problems faced by ex-servicemen in various government offices.”
Another ex-serviceman K D Shelley said, “We were called here for the inauguration of the War Memorial but the whole event turned out to be political. We do not understand politics. We came here with the belief that our grievances would be heard.” Amid the commotion, Siddaramaikah said his government was concerned about the problems faced by ex-servicemen and he would speak to them after the event.
To pacify the angry veterans, Wing Commander G.B. Athri said the ex-servicemen had come here to show gratitude to the state government for renovating the War Memorial, which was in bad shape. “We want this War Memorial to be as prominent as the India Gate. This place should be maintained like a tourist destination,” said Athri.

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