Ravindranath and Auradkar have had conflicts in the past too

The episode of Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) P. Ravindranath and Bangalore city Police Commissioner Raghavendra Auradkar getting into a conflict following the ‘photo snapping’ incident at a coffee shop has rattled the Police establishment.

Though the government ordered a probe by the Criminal Investigation Department into the issue, Dr. Ravindranath, a Dalit, filed a complaint against Mr. Auradkar accusing him of practising untouchability against him. The officers have had conflicts in the past too. In 2006, Mr. Auradkar accused Dr. Ravindranath of having naxalite links.

A physician by profession, Dr. Ravindranath, a 1989 batch IPS officer, earned a reputation by conducting free medical check-ups for the constabulary and their families. The son of a prominent Dalit leader from Andhra Pradesh who served as the Finance Minister of that State in the 1980s, Dr. Ravindranath also has a reputation among his juniors of being an upright officer.

Some senior IPS officers point out that Dr. Ravindranath’s offer to resign over the incident was the second time he expressed a desire to quit. A few years ago, he sent in his resignation when he was denied leave.

Now, Dr. Ravindranath has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into two cases — one in which he is accused of taking photographs of a woman in the coffee shop, and two, the atrocity case he has lodged against Mr. Auradkar and two other police officials.

Director-General of Police (DGP), CID, Bipin Gopalakrishna said it was the prerogative of the investigating officer to decide whether or not to arrest Dr. Ravindranath. Dr. Ravindranath declined to take his official car and walked towards his home at HSR Layout from the DGP’s office on Nrupatunga Road on Saturday.

Bickering on Twitter

Twitter, which was extensively used by politicians during the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, proved counterproductive for actor-turned Congress politician Ramya, who contested from Mandya. Ms. Ramya, who narrowly lost the election, has more followers on the social media platform than the former Infosys CEO Nandan Nilekani, who also lost the election. Ironically, it was the tweets that landed Ms. Ramya in trouble in the run-up to the polls. Her “godfather” in cinema and politics M.H. Ambareesh criticised her excessive dependence on Twitter. Mr. Ambareesh said Ms. Ramya would not be able to reach the people of Mandya through social media, and that she should instead tour the constituency to listen to people’s problems.

Ms. Ramya promptly retorted with a tweet that she would connect with those who are on social media and with the others in person under a scorching sun. “The future belongs to technology, if you are not in it, you will be left out. I don’t want my people to be left out,” she tweeted, creating a stir among Congress workers. After her defeat, she was again caught up in a bitter Twitter war with actor-turned politician Jaggesh, a legislator. Mr. Jaggesh dubbed her an opportunist on the social media website. He described her as an opportunist who downgraded cinema after the bypoll win last year and then changed her stand after losing the election. Ms. Ramya responded immediately, saying she was against taking up new film projects, but committed to completing the existing ones.

No relatives, please

One of the orders issued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his Ministers is that they should shun appointing their relatives as their personal staff. What is interesting is that Karnataka had shown the way long ago. When the then Maharaja of Mysore informed Sir M. Visvesvaraya that he would be appointed the Dewan, the engineer-statesman called a meeting of his extended family and told them that he would accept the post only if they agreed not to visit him either at his residence or office for any favours. He joined the service only after they gave him the promise.

Twenty-five years ago, Ramakrishna Hegde, who took over as the first non-Congress Chief Minister of Karnataka, followed the precedent and issued a circular asking his Ministers not to have any officers belonging to his or her caste, let alone their relatives. This, however, was observed more in breach.

More recently, K.H. Srinivasa, when he held the post of Leader of the Opposition in the Legislation Council, declared on the floor of the Council that he was adhering to the principle outlined by Hegde.

Belgaum flatters to deceive

Belgaum city, bordering Maharashtra, is the commercial hub and divisional headquarters of north Karnataka, ranking only second to Bangalore in terms of overall exports. The city has been projected as the second capital of the State. The government built the Suvarna Soudha on the outskirts in a stated move to ensure expeditious implementation of welfare schemes.

The tag of the second capital has, however, remained on paper. For instance, the delivery of services under the Sakala scheme shows that Belgaum is ranked 26th among the 30 districts in the State; one down from its rank in January 2013. Though the district ranked top in terms of awareness level (97 per cent) of the scheme, delivery of services has been abysmal.

Belgaum residents have reasons to feel disappointed and want the administration to reverse the downward trend.

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