Marking Mr. Gowda’s first visit to the district after post of Chief Ministers, hundreds of party workers and supporters thronged the Sri Sahasralingeshwara Temple in Uppinangadi where he had made a brief stop to offer prayers.

It was in a sense a homecoming for the former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda who arrived here on Monday from where he was first elected to the Legislative Assembly 17 years ago.

Marking Mr. Gowda’s first visit to the district after post of Chief Ministers, hundreds of party workers and supporters thronged the Sri Sahasralingeshwara Temple in Uppinangadi where he had made a brief stop to offer prayers. He was joined by N. Yogesh Bhat, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, Mallika Prasad, Puttur MLA, among other local leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

From there, a procession of vehicles carrying supporters proceeded to Puttur where a felicitation programme had been organised at Buntara Bhavana.

“I have come to Puttur because I was first elected an MLA here and it is because of the workers here that I have had the opportunity to become the Chief Minister,” he said. He recalled a “humbling” moment when after his first election defeat in 1989, party workers had gathered in hundreds to support him. Mr. Gowda added that the visit to the district was to ask for “forgiveness” at the Mahalingeshwara temple for all the wrongs he might have committed during his tenure.

Addressing the gathering, he said he demitted office voluntarily as a “fight for the chair” would affect drought management work in the State. Further more, even with the political turmoil seeing him without the top post, Mr. Gowda expressed confidence in BJP’s governance, regardless of the “little differences” over portfolio allocation.

On the political front, he said his next role would be decided by the party high command. Now that Mr. Gowda holds only the titles of “the former Chief Minister” and “Member of Legislative Council”, he said he would concentrate on expediting development works in the district.

The felicitation programme saw MLC D.H. Shankaramurthy calling him the “son of Dakshina Kannada soil” while Mr. Kateel sang paeans for providing a “development-oriented, corruption-free government”.

“Mr. Sadananda Gowda has brought pride to the district. He has always put the State above the party and self,” he said.

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