Pramoda links naming Wadiyar's successor to property row outcome

Pramoda links naming Wadiyar's successor to property row outcome

Wants dispute settled before Dasara; private durbar doubtful this time

Pramoda links naming Wadiyar's successor to property row outcome

Strongly attacking the State government, Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, wife of the late Srikantadatta Narasi­mh­a­raja Wadiyar, made an emotional pitch on Saturday, appealing to the former to hand over both the Mysore and Bangalore Palaces back to the royal family of Mysore.

Addressing the media on Saturday for the first time since her husband’s demise on December 10, 2013, Pramoda Devi categorically stated that the decision on Wadiyar’s successor and the continuation of Dasara as per tradition hinged on the settlement of the property dispute between the royal family and the government.

Fighting tears, Devi said she did have a successor in mind, but the matter had not been furthered owing to uncertainty over the fate of the two properties. 

Expressing discontent over the non-constitution of the bench by the government to settle the property dispute, Devi said successive governments had “harassed” the royal family. 

The government had failed to even respond to the letters written by her husband.“I realise the urgency involved in naming the successor, more than anybody else – I would do it today if I could. However, uncertainty over the ownership of the Palace is the foremost impediment. Unless this is sorted out, the continuance of the customs and traditions related to all religious festivities unique to the royal family hangs in the balance. Everything depends on the outcome of the case over the Mysore Palace Acquisition Act, 1998, which is pending in the High Court.”

Terming the Bangalore Palace Acquisition Act, 1996, and Mysore Palace Acquisition Act, 1998, “draconian”, Devi said the State government had been “hostile” to the family since 1974, which became more intense after 1976.

“Family members were made to heed advice from self-proclaimed advisers, who caused more harm than good. The family has faced innumerable cases of harassment, while struggling to clear mounting liabilities. The hostility reached its peak after my husband joined politics,” she said.

She said she would continue to hold the reins until a successor is appointed. She, however, clarified that she would not ascend the throne. 

“Yes, earlier, women have headed the royal family affairs. But nobody ever ascended the throne,” she said. The likelihood of holding the private durbar hangs in the balance. “While the religious rituals will be conducted by the Palace priests, it is unlikely that the private durbar will be held this Dasara. A decision on this will be taken by Ganesha festival,” she said. Matter in court: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the matter related to the Mysore Palace was in the High Court. When reporters asked him about his views on the issues highlighted by Pramoda Devi during his visit to Mandur village in Bangalore on Saturday, he said, “Dasara will be celebrated like every year and Mysore District in-charge Minister V Sreenivas Prasad will look into the preparations.”