Home Minister K J George said on Sunday that former chief minister late S Bangarappa was in politics with the sole purpose of uplifting the poor and downtrodden and he never used it for personal gains.
Speaking after inaugurating a function to mark the birth anniversary of Bangarappa organised by S Bangarappa Vichara Vedike and S Bangarappa Pratisthana here, he said the former chief minister entered politics for the sake of the poor and worked relentlessly for them throughout his life.
A unique quality of Bangarappa was that he never discriminated people on caste and community lines. He used to treat everybody equally. He was a born leader.
Popular, pro-poor programmes such as Akshaya, Aradhana and Ashraya rolled by him during his tenure as the chief minister have immensely benefited the poor in the State, recollected George who was Housing and Urban Development minister in the Bangarappa government.
He was a versatile personality. Despite being an active politician, he had developed interest in art, culture and sports. “His son and JD(S) leader Madhu Bangarappa is following in his father's footsteps. He should have been in the Congress. Nevertheless, we wish him all the success, irrespective of his political affiliations,” the Home Minister added.
Madhu recalled his father as a guide and philosopher for several political leaders. He had in-depth knowledge of diverse issues and was like an encyclopaedia, he said.
Later, speaking at a seminar on literature, culture and agriculture organised on the occasion, noted poet L N Mukundaraj described Bangarappa as ‘train engine.’ “He was like an engine of a train. People used to follow him, whichever party he joined,” he added.
Being a mass leader, he always used take up the cause of the people. He remained a leader his entire life. Perhaps, it was the reason he changed many political parties, he said.
Senior advocate K Diwakar said Bangarappa was above caste considerations. It is not proper to say he was the leader of the Idiga community, he added. Congress leader V S Ugrappa said vested interest conspired to dislodge Bangarappa from the post of chief minister. They tried to falsely implicate him in the Classik Computer scam, he added.
Speaking at a seminar on agriculture, agriculturist and their concerns organised on the occasion, Ugrappa urged the State government to take action against those whose land holding is in excess of that stipulated under the Karnataka Land Reforms Act. Hundreds of people, within 50 kms radius of the Vidhana Soudha, have violated the Act. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah should take action against them, he added.
The Act was enacted due to the efforts of great leaders such as Bangarappa, Shantaveri Gopala Gowda and Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa. More than eight lakh people benefited as a result of their efforts, he said.