Shobha, loyalists 'steal the show'

It was a hop-skip-and-jump inauguration of a majority of events at Dasara festivities


The promises given by district administration and minister Shobha Karandlaje, who is also district-in-charge minister for Mysore, have simply fallen flat, exposing the loopholes, disinterest factor among the authorities concerned and BJP’s internal bickerings which have found a platform before larger public now.

Compared to Dasara during the last few years, it was an occasion where the ‘party’ ruled the roost. But, this year, it has further come down to ‘Shobha loyalists’ and the number, naturally, is not high.

Minister Shobha Karandlaje is almost doing a ‘hop-skip-and-jump’ job, inaugurating majority of the events since Saturday. MLC Siddaraju and Karnataka Exhibition Authority (KEA) B P Manjunath’s (both loyal to Shobha) presence is quite dominant in most Dasara related decisions made by the district administration.

This has even caused major embarrassment to the district administration since most of the announcements they made regarding KEA were not executed.  While local MLA H S Shankarlinge Gowda did make an appearance in a few events, MLA Ramdas, who is also CM’s parliamentary secretary, stayed away from all the events following a verbal duel between him and Manjunath in front of the ‘junta’ on Saturday.

An official, who is also on dasara duty, said the district administration could do little since both loyalists dominated dasara discussions. “They had to put up with it, since the minister was away in China during the crucial period of planning for Dasara. She only returned on September 9, with only ten days to go for the festival,” he stated.

The city which used to brim with tourists from abroad, and across the country, has surely seen the numbers dwindling this year. Though part of the reason may be attributed to H1N1 scare, Mysore has not recorded alarming number of deaths to force tourists to go elsewhere. A hotelier on condition of anonymity says the hotels look ‘drought-stricken’ with less tourists.
“Compared to last year, when recession was stated as the main reason for people staying away, this year the numbers have further gone down. Forget walk-ins, the phone enquiries are not promising either,” he asks.

Ghettoed cultural progs

“What are they trying to prove? They have reduced Dasara to an event where they can aim at setting a record. Different subcommittees have planned over 147 cultural programmes. They may be more in number, but certainly not in quality,” says Prof Nanjaraj Urs, who is fuming at the fact that payment patterns to artistes is simply disturbing. “They are paying Rs two lakh to Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Rs 10 lakh to music composer Keervani,” he says.

Deccan Herald office received calls complaining about minister and deputy commissioner attending the play staged by journalists. They were surprised that the two could spare so much of time to watch a play. They should have been busy attending to works connected with Dasara, which is a very important event.

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