To 'blunt' KSE's brigade, govt to develop Rayanna's birthplace

To 'blunt' KSE's brigade, govt to develop Rayanna's birthplace

The Congress and the BJP appear to be making an aggressive bid to appropriate the legacy of 18th century freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna.

The ruling Congress on Tuesday decided to take up development of Sangolli in Belagavi district, the birthplace of Rayanna. A sainik school, a community hall, a library and Yatri Nivas will be constructed there. Besides, an expert committee will soon be constituted to chalk out a plan for this purpose. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Sangolli Rayanna Development Authority chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

The chief minister’s move to take up development of Sangolli has come in the wake of BJP leader K S Eshwarappa forming the Sangolli brigade recently. The BJP leader has been trying to consolidate the support of backward classes, especially Kuruba community, to which Rayanna belongs. Though a section of state BJP leaders is opposing the brigade, the party has chosen not to stop Eshwarappa from the initiative.

Ever since Siddaramaiah became the chief minister, he has been trying to project himself as the leader of the backward classes. His adversaries in the ruling party had once complained to the high command, accusing him of promoting officials belonging to his community in the government. Kurubas form the third largest community in the state.

Congress sources said that Eshwarappa’s efforts to emerge as an alternative backward classes’ leader have made Siddaramaiah and his followers jittery. Hence, the chief minister recently decided to form the Sangolli Rayanna Development Authority.

When contacted, Eshwarappa said he was happy that the government had realised the need for developing Sangolli.  “I don’t think there is a need for forming an expert committee to decide how to develop Sangolli. The government should take immediate steps to develop the place where Rayanna was hanged,” he added.

Congress leader Ramachandrappa said, “Eshwarappa has openly declared that he has formed Sangolli brigade for political reasons. But there is no political motive behind the decision to development Sangolli,” he added.

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