Staff Correspondent

Madikeri: Members of the newly formed Kodagu Swabhimani Samrakshana Vedike on Saturday demanded representation to Kodagu in the State Cabinet, besides suggesting a slew of measures to assuage the feelings of the people of the district.

Speaking to presspersons here, Ramesh Muddaiah, one of the members of the vedike, said that Kodagu was a prosperous Part ‘C’ State in the country prior to its merger with the then Mysore State in 1956. Kodagu had become a neglected region now, he said and added that Assembly constituencies in the district were reduced from three to two after delimitation.

An unsuccessful effort was made by certain politicians to snatch the “Bane” land rights from the people of the district recently, he charged.

When landholders in other districts enjoyed the rights over trees grown on their land, Kodagu had been discriminated against, B.T. Dinesh, another member of the vedike alleged.

Move to oust tribal people from the forests of Kodagu was yet another conspiracy of the Government, he alleged. The members would urge Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to provide a ministerial berth to a leader from Kodagu to aid the all-round development of the district, he said. If the Government did not have inclination to develop Kodagu, it should leave the management to the people of the district, he said. The members thanked Mr. Yeddyurappa, MLAs from Kodagu, M.P. Appachu Ranjan and K.G. Bopaiah, for ensuring withdrawal of the conditions stated in the two revenue circulars that had hampered the rights of the people of the district concerning “Bane” land.