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`Hegde was a pioneer in decentralisation of power'

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REMEMBRANCE: Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajashekaran lighting a lamp to inaugurate the 80th birth anniversary celebrations of former Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde, in Bangalore on Tuesday. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
REMEMBRANCE: Union Minister of State for Planning M.V. Rajashekaran lighting a lamp to inaugurate the 80th birth anniversary celebrations of former Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde, in Bangalore on Tuesday. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Staff Reporter

Plea to set up research institute in former Chief Minister's name

Bangalore: Speakers at a function to celebrate the 80th birth anniversary of the late Ramakrishna Hegde remembered him as a leader who left his mark on politics and culture of Karnataka and at the national level.

The function was organised by the Rashtriya Navanirmana Vedike founded by Hegde. Eminent Gandhian L.C. Jain said he would never forgive his "younger brother," who had embarked on his final journey before him. The decentralisation of power to the lowest rung of democracy at the village level, which Hegde had initiated and turned into reality, had even won the admiration of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who had tried very hard to win Hegde over to the Congress so that they could be on the same side, Dr. Jain said.

For Union Minister M.V. Rajashekaran, it was a trip down memory lane as he remembered another Chief Minister, S. Nijalingappa, who had moulded Hegde and Veerendra Patil (former Chief Minister) and had dreamt of them turning Karnataka into a golden State as Lava-Kusha. "Hegde was not an individual, he was an institution whose legacy can be evidenced in the way literature and culture has flowered in Karnataka," he said and urged the Vedike and all those who admired him to set up a research institute in his name.

Former Chief Minister Dharam Singh described Hegde as one who never played opportunist politics.

"When the telephone tapping issue rocked his Government, he owned moral responsibility and resigned, how many persons do that today?" he asked.

Science and Technology Minister Ramachandra Gowda, former Minister K.H. Ranganath, Hegde's own "boys" former minister P.G. R. Sindhia and Home Minister M.P. Prakash too remembered the many things that their "preceptor" had taught them, and admitted that they had been moulded by him.

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