They submit memorandum to the government at Deputy Commissioner’s office
Residents of Ainapur and surrounding villages of Athani taluk have threatened to boycott elections and intensify agitations if the State government did not concede their demand to create a new taluk with Ainapur as its headquarters.
Several people, including gram, zilla and taluk panchayat members, workers of various political parties, leaders of farmers’ organisations, students, traders and social workers, took out a procession under the banner the Ainapur Taluk Rachana Horatagarara Samiti from Mahatma Gandhi Bhavan here on Monday.
Later, they submitted a memorandum to the State government through the Deputy Commissioner’s office.
The samiti leaders said that Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar had done injustice to the people of Ainapur and surrounding villages by yielding to political pressure and creating a new taluk with Kagwad as its headquarters although the M.B. Prakash Committee report favoured Ainapur as the headquarters.
Ainapur had been considered because of several factors, including its geographical location and infrastructure facilities, which made it administratively convenient.
The leaders said the government had unscientifically created a large number of new taluks over and above the number recommended by the committee, succumbing to political pressure. Of the 43 new taluks recommended by the committee, the government considered only 26 cases, they said.
The samiti leaders said that Ainapur situated on the bank of the Krishna was ideally located from the point of administrative convenience.
It was the largest village in Athani taluk. It had a 43-member gram panchayat and comprised a zilla and two taluk panchayat segments. That apart, the village had much better infrastructure than many other major villages in the State. Also, the village boasted of relatively high literacy of 68.3 per cent.
Ainapur was the only village in Belgaum district that was fully “Kannada oriented” with its first Kannada-medium school established in 1919.
The samiti leaders said the demand for creation of Ainapur taluk enjoyed the support of 20 of the 24 gram panchayats under Kagwad Assembly constituency, five of the six zilla panchayat members and members of Athani taluk panchayat, and 35 villages of Athani taluk.
The samiti leaders said residents of Ainapur and surrounding villagers had been demanding creation of Ainapur taluk for the past several years but the government had done them huge injustice. They would be forced to boycott elections and launch agitations if their demand was not conceded immediately.