It may be Rayanna, Chennamma airports soon at Belagavi

Rani Chennamma is an early 19th-century queen from Belagavi who led an armed rebellion against the East India Company. Sangolli Rayanna was Chennamma’s contemporary, who was the chief of her army. DH File Photo

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Saturday proposed naming the Belagavi airport after Kittur Rani Chennamma and the Hubballi airport after Sangolli Rayanna — an extension of his continuing effort to woo North Karnataka, a region he has been accused of “neglecting”.

According to a statement from the chief minister’s office, Kumaraswamy has written to Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu with the request.

Rani Chennamma is an early 19th-century queen from Belagavi who led an armed rebellion against the East India Company. Sangolli Rayanna was Chennamma’s contemporary, who was the chief of her army.

Kumaraswamy’s persuasion with the Centre comes despite him revealing in the Legislative Council recently that the Centre had declined the government’s request to name the Belagavi airport after Rani Chennamma.

“The chief minister has urged that (renaming the airports) would be a befitting tribute to the well-known freedom fighters citing the importance of both the freedom fighters of the region (sic),” Kumaraswamy’s office said in a statement.

This is the latest in a slew of measures Kumaraswamy has initiated to placate North Karnataka, especially after his alleged “neglect” of the region led to demands for separate statehood. His earlier statements expressing anger and disappointment that voters in North Karnataka did not vote for him only added fuel to the fire.

As if to prove a point, Kumaraswamy’s office released data on his pet crop loan waiver, according to which a lion’s share of crop loans to be waived are those borrowed by farmers in North Karnataka — 25.34 lakh loans worth Rs 29,190 crore — which is 62% of the total waiver.

The government has also decided to shift nine government offices to North Karnataka, including the formation of a separate water supply and drainage board for the region. Kumaraswamy has also repeatedly stressed that his 
July 5 budget had enough sops for North Karnataka districts such as the creation of industrial clusters.

Notably, now, Kumaraswamy’s 32-member Cabinet has 13 ministers who belong to North Karnataka.   

Politically, North Karnataka is a key region. At least 12 out of 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state are in this region, which also has 96 Assembly segments.

DH News Service

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It may be Rayanna, Chennamma airports soon at Belagavi

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