Ahead of bypolls, leaders line up to pay respects to Chennamma

Remembering the queen: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai after garlanding the equestrian statue of Kittur Chennamma on her birth anniversary in Hubballi on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: KIRAN BAKALE

The birth anniversary of Kittur Chennamma, who had raised a banner of revolt against the British, acquired a special significance in the bypoll-bound Hangal constituency on Saturday, with all leaders dutifully lining up to pay respects to the 18th Century queen.

Garlanding the statue of the queen early in the day at Hubballi, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced that the State Government would approve action plan worth ₹50 crore for Kittur Development Authority, which was constituted in 2011. He also tried to touch an emotional chord by remembering the role of his father and former Chief Minister late S.R. Bommai in getting the statue of Kittur Chennamma installed in Belagavi.

Later in the day, the Chief Minister announced in Belagavi district that Bombay Karnataka region would be renamed Kittur Karnataka after approval from the Cabinet.

Community angle

Chennamma, who fought the British with the help of her close aide Sangolli Rayanna, belonged to the Lingayat Panchamasali community, which is demographically strong in Hangal constituency. And in a constituency where winning margins have been close, every political party appeared keen to show their respects for the icon.

Soon after Mr. Bommai, many political leaders, including Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah and the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, paid tributes in Hubballi and Hangal on Saturday. While the State Government has ordered for state celebration of the birth anniversary a few years ago, there was no missing the special interest shown by political leaders this year. The former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Congress MLA Prasad Abbayya and others too paid their respects to Chennamma.

Manifesto for Hangal

Meanwhile, Mr. Bommai, accompanied by the former Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, released the election manifesto for Hangal constituency at candidate Shivaraj Sajjanar’s residence on Saturday.

The BJP has promised various development works, including free residential sites for the poor, better gardens, graveyard development, issual of Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka cards for residents of Hangal, and revival of water purification units.

The incumbent and the former Chief Minister have been jointly and rigorously campaigning for the BJP candidate in Hanagal constituency. The assembly segment is in the same district (Haveri) as the Chief Minister’s constituency of Shiggaon.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 12:30:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ahead-of-bypolls-leaders-line-up-to-pay-respects-to-chennamma/article37145483.ece

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