Row over selection of Sammelana prez: KSP denies grant

Row over selection of Sammelana prez: KSP denies grant

With the controversy over the selection of president for the district-level Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in Chikkamagaluru reaching its peak, Kannada Sahitya Parishat has refused to release grant for the sammelana. 

The sammelana is scheduled to be held at Sringeri on January 10 and 11. Kalkuli Vittala Hegde was unanimously selected as the sammelana president. Many had opposed the move of the organisers to select Hegde as the sammelana president. Now, the district in-charge minister who is also the Minister for Kannada and Culture has withheld the release of grant. 

Speaking to DH, Kannada Sahitya Parishat district unit President Ashok Kundooru said, “Kannada Sahitya Parishat is insisting that the district unit should submit approval letters from the district in-charge minister to get funds released for the event which is new. We had appealed to Kannada Sahitya Parishat Manu Baligar to release grant for district-level sammelana. Baligar, in turn, has asked us to postpone the meeting. When we brought the issue of preparations for the sammelana, we were asked to get an approval letter from the district in-charge minister.” 

“The district in-charge minister had already stated that he will not attend the sammelana. Sammelana president was decided by the working committee of the Sahitya Parishat. There is no need to seek an opinion from the public and minister while selecting president for Kannada Sahithya Sammelana. We are committed to the selection. We have decided to organise the sammelana in a simple manner by reducing the expenditure on cultural programmes and procession,” he added. 

Minister C T Ravi said, “There was criticism against the selection of sammelana president. I had asked the president of the district unit of Kannada Sahitya Parishat to select the president unanimously and also asked him to postpone the sammelana. Hence, the grant was not released.” 

“I have asked the organiser not to print my name in the invitation if the sammelana is organised with Kalkuli Vittala Hegde as the president. In spite of it, the organisers have printed my name in the invitation. I will not attend the sammelana,” he added. 

Kannada Sahitya Parishat President Manu Baligar said, “Kannada and Culture Minister C T Ravi has directed us not to release the fund. The minister had even asked not to hold the sammelana. I have conveyed the message to the district unit president.”  

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