Kodagu BJP leaders, on Wednesday, demanded an unconditional apology from the president of the 80th All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelan Na. D’Souza for favouring the implementation of the K. Kasturirangan committee report in the district and wanted a resolution passed opposing the report at the end of the sammelan scheduled to conclude on Thursday.

Speaking to presspersons here at a hurriedly convened press conference, Virajpet MLA K.G. Bopaiah said that Mr. D’Souza, in an interview with All India Radio here on Tuesday, had stated that the Kasturirangan committee report must be implemented to save the Western Ghats. He had indirectly favoured the implementation of the report in his presidential address as well, Mr. Bopaiah said.

It was even published in a section of the press here, Mr. Bopaiah stated. People had been calling BJP leaders questioning the party’s stand on the statements made by Mr. D’Souza, he said.

The opposition to the Kasturirangan committee report was unanimous in the district and discussions had taken place cutting across party lines, Mr. Bopaiah stated. There was even a proposal to observe a bandh on Tuesday but it was dropped by a samiti opposing the Kasturirangan committee report following assurances given by the Chief Minister to a delegation from Kodagu recently.

Both he and Madikeri MLA M.P. Appachu Ranjan did not raise the issue at the sammelan as they thought it would amount to disrespect, Mr. Bopaiah said.

Asked what would happen if the sammelan did not pass a resolution against the implementation of the report, Mr. Ranjan said that the issue would be left to the samiti that had issued a bandh call earlier.

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