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People urged to strengthen panchayati raj system

Staff Correspondent
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Colourful parade, cultural programmes mark Republic Day

SPECTACULAR:Schoolchildren participating in cultural programmes during the Republic Day celebrations in Bellary on Thursday.
SPECTACULAR:Schoolchildren participating in cultural programmes during the Republic Day celebrations in Bellary on Thursday.

Balachandra Jarkiholi, Minister for Municipal Administration and in charge of the district, on Thursday unfurled the national flag and took the salute at the 63rd Republic Day celebrations at the district stadium here.

This was the first time that Mr. Jarkiholi participated in a flag hoisting function after being appointed district in-charge Minister. He failed to turn up for the Independence Day celebrations last year.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Jarkiholi called upon people to strengthen the panchayati raj system, which he described as the backbone of a democratic setup, to build a strong nation.

Expressing concern over the increasing incidence of terrorism, Mr. Jarkiholi urged people to extend their support to the Government in wiping it out to ensure peace, harmony and the welfare of society. Earlier, hundreds of schoolchildren, police, Home Guards and NCC cadets participated in a colourful parade, which was followed by cultural programmes.

Mr. Jarkiholi felicitated Belagal Veeranna, shadow leather puppetry exponent, who has been selected for the Sangeet Natak Akademi award; Virupakshappa, a nomadic folk artiste and recipient of the Rajyotsava award; D. Mohan Das, recipient of the best teacher award at the national level; Renuka, who has bagged the Karnataka Nataka Academy award; Lata Patil, swimmer; Parashuram, who bagged the second prize at the State-level pole vault event; and Ramanjaneya and Lakshmamma, both pourakarmikas, on the occasion.

G. Somashekar Reddy, MLA; Parvathi Indushekar, Mayor; Aruna Thippareddy, zilla panchayat president; Henry D'Souza, Bishop of Bellary Diocese; Amlan Aditya Biswas, Deputy Commissioner; and Chandragupta, Superintendent of Police, were present.

Later, Mr. Jarkiholi told presspersons that he was “very happy” to have become the first person from the Scheduled Tribes to unfurl the national flag in the district, where the population of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes is high.

Horticultural colleges

Davangere Staff Correspondent reports:

S.A. Ravindranath, Minister for Horticulture and district in-charge, said on Thursday that nine more horticultural colleges would be set up in the State, including one in Davanagere.

Diploma courses

These colleges would offer diploma courses in horticulture, he added.

Speaking after unfurling the national flag on Republic Day, Mr. Ravindranath said that the colleges would be set up on at least 250 acres.

Stating that the pomegranate crop had been affected by bacterial blight, he said that the loss incurred by farmers had been put at Rs. 300 crore.

S.S. Pattana Shetty, Deputy Commissioner; Gutti Jamboonath, chief executive officer of the zilla panchayat; and H.S. Venkatesh, Superintendent of Police, were present.

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