When Jayalalithaa supplied rice to KGF mines workers

Updated - December 06, 2016 03:02 pm IST

Published - December 06, 2016 02:49 pm IST - Kolar

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s demise has cast a shadow on the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) region, which has a sizeable Tamil population and where All India Anna DMK politics was conspicuous for a long time.

Though the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister never visited KGF, she was very popular and revered by a large section of people here. They remember her particularly for her offering help when the Bharat Gold Mines Ltd (BGML) wounded mining operation in 2001.

The influence of AIADMK in KGF was so strong in the 1980s and 1990s that it represented thrice in Karnataka Assembly.

AIADMK candidate M. Bhaktavatsalam was elected as MLA from Kolar Assembly constituency in 1983, 1989 and 1999 pushing the traditional Leftist politics to the backseat.

“It was charisma of Jayalaithaa, beside that of MGR, that helped the party,” Mr. Bhatavatsalam, who is now in Janata Dal (Secular) told The Hindu on Tuesday.

About 4,000 workers, who were on the rolls of BGML at the time, and their family members were left in the lurch as they lost their jobs.

“When I met Jayalalithaa in Chennai and explained the plight of the workers and their families following closure of mines, she arranged distribution of 25 kg rice to all the 3850 workers,” Mr. Bhaktavatsalam recalled.

Though it was a one-time help, it stands testimony to the large heartedness of the late leader and her approach towards downtrodden people, Mr. Bhatavatsalam remarked.

Jayalalithaa also wrote letters to the then Prime Minister and the Union Minister for Mining urging revival of the gold mines operations, he said.

Tributes paid

Hundreds of AIADMK functionaries led by party’s Labour Wing leader Anbu, paid glowing tributes to the departed leader at KGF.

At Andersonpet and Robertsonpet Circles, they installed large photographs of Jayalalithaa to show their reverence.

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