The Karnataka government has chosen 159 people, including wildlife biologist Ullas Karanth, gold medal winners in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games A. Ashwini and Ashwini Ponnappa, poet B.R. Lakshman Rao, singer B.R. Chaya, ophthalmologist Bhujanga Shetty, psychiatrist C.R. Chandrashekhar, film producer K.V. Gupta, artist M.S. Murthy, Delhi-based columnist A. Suryaprakash and Deputy Editor of The Hindu (Bangalore) S. Rajendran, and three organisations for its prestigious annual Karnataka Rajyotsava Award in 25 categories for 2009 and 2010.

Minister for Kannada and Culture Govind Karjol told presspersons here on Saturday that a 19-member committee, headed by the Chief Minister, selected the award-winners on the basis of merit, social justice and representation for all districts.

The committee selected the award winners in compliance with the guidelines and there was no lobbying or political interference as reported in a section of the media.

The award, which will be presented on Rajyotsava Day, at Ravindra Kalakshetra, carries a purse of Rs. 1 lakh, a gold medal, a shawl, citation and memento each.

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