K.N. Venkatasubba Rao
Many of them were members of the erstwhile Jan Sangh
BANGALORE: Besides Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, the first-ever Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government in the State has many ministers from the ranks of the Sangh Parivar.
Some of them were even with erstwhile Bharatiya Jan Sangh from which the BJP was born in 1982.
The Ministers, who have come from the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS) ranks are Ramachandra Gowda, V.S. Acharya, R. Ashok, S. Suresh Kumar, Arvind Limbavali, Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri, and Shobha Karndlaje.
Among them Mr. Suresh Kumar, Mr. Limbavali, Mr. Kageri and Ms. Karandlaje have become the ministers for the first time.
Ramachandra Gowda: Born on December 13, 1938 at Tippoor in Kunigal taluk, he holds an engineering degree. Basically an engineer and agriculturist by profession, Mr. Gowda took to social-political activities during his school days. He participated in Goa Liberation Movement when in High School. Later he was attracted by the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. He entered the Bangalore City Corporation as a Jan Sangh member in 1970. He was elected to the City Improvement Trust Board in the same year.
He was the BJP State unit general secretary. He was first elected to the Legislative Council from the Graduates’ Constituency in 1988 and he continues to be an MLC. He held the portfolios of Small Savings and Science and Technology in the erstwhile BJP and Janata Dal (Secualr) coalition.
Dr. Acharya: Born on July 6, 1940 into a scholarly family in Udupi, Dr. Acharya, a medical graduate, was the Udupi Town Municipal Corporation president after the Bharatiya Jan Sangh won the civic body elections in 1968. Apparently, this was the first occasion of the Jan Sangh coming to power in any elected body in South India. He was first elected to the Legislative Council in 1996 from the Assembly and repeated the feat in 2002. He was the Minister for Medical Education in the BJP-JD(S) coalition government. His term as MLC ends on June 30.
Suresh Kumar: The 51-year-old advocate who comes from a Brahmin family in Sriramapura in Bangalore, was attracted to politics when he came in contact with L.K. Advani and the late Madhu Dandavate during Emergency while in Bangalore jail for 15 months.
Closely associated with the RSS and the ABVP activities he entered electoral politics in 1983 and was elected to the Bangalore City Corporation. He became Rajajinagar MLA in 1994 and retained the seat in the 1999 elections.
Limbavali: An Engineer hailing from a poor backward class family in Gulbarga district, Mr. Limbavali climbed up the party ladder from the RSS and ABVP background. He was an ABVP worker for several years since 1978. He was made the national secretary of the ABVP and the ABVP Yuva Morcha in 1996. He was elected to the Legislative Council from the Assembly in 2004.
Visheshwara Hegde Kageri: The 45-year-old politician from a Havyaka Brahmin family in Kageri near Sirsi, was also a full-time worker of the ABVP for several years and served as its State Secretary.
Mr. Kageri was responsible for launching a series of agitations against the capitation fee and other education related issues. Agitations held under the leadership of Mr. Kageri along with Mr. Limbavali during the Eighties across the State gave tough time to the then Ramakrishna Hegde Government.
Shobha Karandlaje: A postgraduate in humanities, 42-year-old Shobha Karndalaje is a Vokkaliga by caste. She comes from an obscure village called Charwaka in Puttur district.
She worked as a Research Assistant and a Medical Social worker with Kasturba Medical College Manipal before being elected to the Legislative Council from the Assembly in 2004.