Even as Ponnuraj is due to take the responsibility as the DC of Shimoga district, Mangaloreans are trying to come to terms with the news of his transfer.
The community created by his fans on Facebook has just 35 members, which is constantly growing but is already tapping emotions of the people. The community has urged more and more people to join the page.
“Whoever hates you at first, likes you later. It happened in Udupi. You changed and gave a facelift to Udupi town. You had severe opposition from all sectors who said you snatched bread from street vendors’ hands. But now same Udupi of course looks more beautiful and clean,” says another fan on the community page. The DC’s transfer has become a talk of the town and when many are expressing displeasure verbally, there are some fans who are on a spree of sending SMS, opening communities on social networking sites or posting opinions on private news websites.
Karnataka Dalitha Sangharsha Samithi has gone to the extent of warning a protest if the transfer order of Ponnuraj is not withdrawn. Addressing a press meet on Friday, Samiti Member P Keshav Puttur said that the DC has a clear vision of development. He has maintained peace in the city and has been supportive to Dalits. He alleged that the DC was transferred only due to some vested interest. Samithi has already written to the Chief Minister to stop the transfer.
When contacted over phone, Deputy Commissioner V Ponnuraj speaking to Deccan Herald, said: “I am thankful to all my fans, however, this is a government order which I have to follow.”
It is probably for the first time in the history of Dakshina Kannada that such a public opinion is being created on transfer of a bureaucrat. With Ponnuraj always being compared with Bharathlal Meena who has to his credit the fame of changing the face of Mangalore, one has to wait and watch if the successor of Ponnuraj can get into his shoe and leave a mark.