Hegde never practised caste politics: Jigajinagi

Hegde never practised caste politics: Jigajinagi

90th birth anniversary of former CM observed

Hegde never practised caste politics: Jigajinagi

Former chief minister the late Ramakrishna Hegde would have stayed away from the present-day politics, if he was alive, Union Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Jigajinagi said on Monday.

Speaking at an event organised to mark the 90th birth anniversary of Hegde, he said the credit for installing the first non-Congress government in Karnataka goes to Hegde. He followed the politics of principles, ethics and honesty. But it was not recognised at that time, he added.

“Hegde was not aware of caste and communal politics. A person like me would not have come to politics if Hegde had practiced caste politics. But now politics is totally caste-based,” Jigajinagi, a Dalit leader, stated.

Jigajinagi, who was a Hegde loyalist, turned emotional while recalling his association with his mentor. “If I am something in politics today, it is because of him. Even today I take the name of my family deity, my father, my mother and Ramakrishna Hegde soon after getting up in the morning,” he said and, abruptly stopped his speech as he could not control his emotions.

Cultural centre
Later in the evening, the foundation for Ramakrishna Hegde Cultural Centre was laid in the presence of former Union ministers Ram Jethmalani and Murli Manohar Joshi, state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa and Industries Minister R V Deshpande.

An initiative of Prasiddha Foundation, the project would come up at Vidyaranyapura in north Bengaluru in three years. The centre will have an indoor auditorium, a basement theatre and a small recording studio for in-house artistes and choreographers. The centre will feature an open art gallery that can showcase works of young and upcoming artistes, said Prathibha Prahlad, managing trustee of Prasiddha Foundation.