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Updated: July 13, 2012 13:29 IST

Finally, a Minister for Udupi and Dakshina Kannada

Govind D. Belgaumkar
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New Minister Kota Srinivasa Poojari during the Swearing-in Ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Bangaloer in Bangalore. Photo : K . Bhagya Prakash
New Minister Kota Srinivasa Poojari during the Swearing-in Ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Bangaloer in Bangalore. Photo : K . Bhagya Prakash

MLC Kota Srinivasa Poojary finds a place in Shettar Ministry

The surprise inclusion of political lightweight Kota Srinivasa Poojary, MLC, in the Shettar Ministry puts an end to a brief interregnum in which the districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi did not have a Minister.

The death of veteran BJP leader from Udupi V.S. Acharya on February 14 and resignation of J. Krishna Palemar, who represents Mangalore City North in the Assembly, only a week earlier in the case of watching of porn video in the Assembly had created a vacuum though the erstwhile Udupi-Chikmagalur MP D.V. Sadananda Gowda had emerged as Chief Minister.

There was no in-charge minister, who holds meetings to review progress in the implementation of development projects, for either district.

Though Mr. Poojary is from Udupi, he represents both the districts – technically at least – having been elected MLC unopposed from the Udupi-Dakshina Kannada Local Bodies Constituency in 2010.

He has been representing the constituency since 2008 when he became MLC for the first time going through the grind.

Mr. Poojary, born on January 1, 1960 at Kotathitta village of Barikere near Kota in Udupi taluk in an agriculturists’ family, became member of the gram panchayat of his village in 1993.

He was elected from Kota to Udupi Taluk Panchayat in 1995 and to Udupi Zilla Panchayat in 2006.

He was president of the Udupi district unit of the BJP from 2007 to 2010.

He has written several articles in newspapers on a variety of social issues, including the panchayat raj system and decentralisation of power, which is close to his heart. In a talk in Mangalore a week ago, Mr. Poojary stated that all benefits of government schemes should reach people through urban or rural local bodies such as municipalities and gram panchayats. The legislators, he feared, were usurping the powers of local bodies with an eye on elections.

He said MLAs and MLCs should concentrate on making and amending laws and oversee their implementation.

The unassuming politician is described as being easily accessible even by Congress workers. One of them said Mr. Poojary, who is from the dominant Billava community, could go beyond party politics.

Mr. Poojary recently said that he was deeply influenced by the former Chief Minister Devaraj Urs who had told a group of elected representatives that they should stay away from politics when it came to issues of water, road and health.

He is known for making positive contribution to deliberations of meetings of the zilla panchayat where his views are appreciated across the political spectrum.

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