Vijayanagara elevated as Karnataka’s 31st district

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The decision is a fulfilment of the assurance Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa given to Forest and Environment Minister Anand Singh, who helped his party come to power in the state by quit Congress in 2019 and resigning from the membership of the Assembly.

 

The Karnataka Cabinet on Wednesday, November 18, approved the decade-old demand of carving out Vijayanagara district from the existing Ballari district. Vijayanagara will be the 31st district of the State, according to the Hindu.

The decision is a fulfilment of the assurance Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa given to Forest and Environment Minister Anand Singh, who quit Congress in 2019 by tendering resignation from the membership of the Assembly and helped bring BJP to power.

Yediyurappa last year had assured Anand Singh that a new district would be carved out of Ballari and named after the Vijayanagara Empire that ruled from this region. Anand Singh said that the demand for the district was long-standing.

"It was an aspiration to have a separate district that included the then capital of a Hindu empire (Vijayanagara empire) Hampi. Today our Chief Minister and all the cabinet colleagues have discussed it seriously and have given approval to it," he was quoted by PTI as saying.

The dream of the people from western taluks of the Ballari district had been fulfilled, Singh said. The decision has been arrived at by ensuring that none was hurt and by taking everyone into confidence, after discussions with senior leaders and legislators from Ballari district including Minister B Sriramulu, he added.

The government''s plan to create Vijayanagara district had earlier run into opposition, especially from within the ruling BJP, including Sriramulu, MLAs Somashekar Reddy and Karunakara Reddy. As consensus eluded meetings held in this regard in October 2019, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had deferred a decision on this.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Sriramulu, who hails from Ballari, said, there were a lot of confusions regarding the bifurcation of Ballari district. "The demand for Vijayanagara district is a long standing one, as the place has a lot of history. With efforts from all of us including Anand Singh things have moved further. It was informally discussed in the cabinet and the government will take a final decision," he said.

Ballari, which is also politically significant, comprises nine assembly segments of which the Congress had won five and the BJP four in the 2018 polls. In a note written to the Chief Secretary in September last year, Yediyurappa had said keeping public and administrative interest in mind, it was necessary to create the new district with six out of 11 taluks in Ballari district with Hosapet as its headquarters.

Noting that some parts of the Ballari district were about 200 km away from the present headquarters, the Chief Minister had then said it was causing inconvenience to farmers, poor, labourers and common people (with inputs from PTI)

Image Credit: Deccan Herald

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