Ballari: A couple of days after Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa announced a proposal to bifurcate iron ore rich Ballari district, leaders of the district are apparently divided over the CM's decision which has even drawn flak from his cabinet colleague and health minister Mr B Sriramulu.
With disqualified Congress legislator from Hosapete, Mr B.S. Anand Singh who is presently identified with the BJP, leading the campaign for a separate Vijayanagara district, the move is believed to be intended to make a dent to the political clout of the Reddy mine barons and their close confidante and health minister Mr B Sriramulu.
“As a minister, I don't want to express my opinion in public and embarrass the Chief Minister. I will express my opinion at the upcoming cabinet meeting. There are people who are for and against the bifurcation. I am personally for a united Ballari district, since we are striving for its development,” said Mr Sriramulu.
Speaking to the media here, he said carving out separate districts like Gadag, Koppal and Yadgir in the past had not yielded desired results on the development front and hence a united district is better for development.
Ballari City BJP MLA Gali Somashekhar Reddy vociferously opposed bifurcation and announced that a delegation led by minister B. Sriramulu will shortly meet the CM and request him to drop the bifurcation proposal. He suggested that the CM rename the united Ballari district as 'Vijayanagara district', instead carving out a separate Hosapete-centric Vijayanagara district.
“Bifurcation is an emotional issue. Let CM to rename district as Vijayanagara district, but we are opposed to bifurcation", he said adding that he is pained with some religious heads joining the delegation led by disqualified Hosapete MLA Mr Anand Singh to meet CM.
Mr Singh had on Wednesday hired a flight to bring a delegation to Bengaluru and exert pressure on the CM to carve out a new district. On Thursday, the CM in a note to the media, said Ballari has become difficult to administer since it has 11 taluks and 11 revenue sub-divisions. Farmers, daily wage labourers and poor people have to travel long distances to reach the district headquarters in Ballari city. "We would like to ease the problems by carving out a separate district for efficient administration," the note read.
Hosapete assembly seat is bound to face a by-poll with the resignation of Mr Singh who was the first among 17 Congress and JDS legislators to resign in July paving way for the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government. He had then cited two reasons for his resignation; his opposition to coalition government's decision to give 3667 acres of land to steel tycoon JSW Steel in Sandur and his demand for a separate Hosapete centric Vijayanagara district.
There are reports that he may field his son in the bypoll if he is unable to contest with the disqualification case pending in the top court.
Meanwhile, protests have begun in Hadagali, Hagaribommanahalli and Harapanahalli taluks against making Hosapete the headquarters of the proposed Vijayanagara district....