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Raitha Sangha, DSS launch new party

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, MARCH 10. One more political party, Sarvodaya Karnataka, which claims to be different from the existing parties and promises to espouse the cause of Dalits, farmers, writers and artists, has been formed in the State.

The new party is an amalgam of the faction of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha led by the former MLA K.S. Puttannaiah and the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (DSS) group led by C.M. Muniyappa.


Devanoor Mahadeva, Kannada writer and a former president of the DSS, is the President of the new political outfit, which he inaugurated by unfurling the party flag. Mr. Puttannaiah is the Working President. Raghavendra Rajkumar, son of the Kannada matinee idol Rajkumar, who heads the recently floated Karunada Sene, was present at the inaugural function.

In the 1980s, the Raitha Sangha under the leadership of the former Union Minister Babagouda Patil, the late M.D. Nanjundaswamy and some Kannada writers and artists launched a movement against the Congress Government headed by R. Gundu Rao. However the Raitha Sangha and the DSS failed to grow and were affected by splits.

Speakers at today's inaugural ceremony were happy that the Raitha Sangha and the DSS, which hitherto worked against each other in elections, thus helping the mainstream political parties, have come together. However, one of them, Somagudda Rangaswamy, said that the new party should not join the league of the now defunct parties such as the Surajya Party of the late Kengal Hanumanthaiya, the Kannada Nadu of A.K. Subbaiah and the Karnataka Congress Party of the former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa.

Party agenda

Delivering the inaugural address, Mr. Mahadeva set the tone for the agenda of the new party. He said the new party should be built from the grass roots. Party workers should work for development at the gram panchayat level. This, he said, will make every villager interested in the development of the community. Expressing concern over what he called intellectual bankruptcy" he appealed to naxalites to join the new party and give up violence as a method to achieve their goal of uplifting the downtrodden and the poor.


Mr. Mahadeva said taluk and district-level committees of the party will be formed.

Presiding over the function, Mr. Puttannaiah said the formation of the party has sent shock waves among the established political parties, which cared little to improve the living condition of the poor.

Mr. Puttannaiah said that progressive movements had always forced Governments to take up pro-poor programmes. Criticising the State Government for allocating a meagre Rs. 270 crores for gram panchayats, he said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre had allocated Rs. 30,000 crores for rural development and increased the outlay to Rs. 11,000 crores from Rs. 4,000 crores for the food-for-work programme, thanks to pressure form the Left parties.

Ravivarma Kumar, advocate, spoke on the constitution of the new party.

C.M. Muniyappa called for an agitation against the MLAs heading, or are members of, official committees on decentralisation of power. The committees have been set up to hoodwink the people, he charged.


K. Ramadas, social activist, advised the office-bearers and workers of the new party to keep a watch on the way it functions so that it remains committed to supporting the aspirations of the people.

G.N. Nagaraj of the Community Party of India (Marxist); C.G. Krishna Swamy, theatre director; Hasan Mansur, human rights activist; Sridhar, journalist; Banu Mushtaq, Banjagere Jayaprakash and C.S. Dwarakanath, writers; Syed Mazr of the Progressive Muslim Forum; and H.R. Basavarajappa, a leader of farmers, spoke.

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