Union minister Narayanaswamy mistakenly pays tribute to on-duty soldier


Gadag (Karnataka), Aug 21 : A. Narayanaswamy, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, suffered major embarrassment after he mistakenly visited an on-duty soldier's residence. The Minister had intended to visit a dead soldier's home and pay tribute during the recent Jan Aashirwad Yatra taken out by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state. The programme was organised by the local BJP unit. Narayanaswamy drove straight to the house of Ravi Kattimani, an Indian Army soldier serving at the border in Jammu & Kashmir, along with local BJP MP Shivakumar Udasi and Karnataka Public Works Department Minister C.C. Patil. He extended his condolences and offered a job to the on-duty soldier's wife on Thursday evening. The Union Minister, who visited the house of Ravi Kattimani, asked his wife when she got married. The wife said they were married two months ago. Without knowing that her husband is on duty in Kashmir, Narayanaswamy offered her a job thinking that she had lost her husband recently. The Minister was taken aback after the soldier's wife replied that she won't go to work as her husband doesn't like it. The shocked family members called up Ravi Kattimani and heaved a sigh of relief when he answered their call. Narayanaswamy was supposed to visit the house of Basavaraj Hiremath, a soldier who died alighting from a train in Pune on duty last year. He was joining his contingent after holidays. Both soldiers' houses are located near each other. However, BJP workers waiting near Basavaraj Hiremath's residence came running to the other house and apologized to the on-duty soldier's family. An upset Narayanaswamy left the place without visiting the dead soldier's residence. The family of Ravi Kattimani blamed local BJP leaders for the confusion. /IANS


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