Bommai’s classmates recall his simplicity, hope he will do good

Friends and classmates of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai gathered at their school, Rotary English Medium School, in Hubballi on Wednesday and recalled their association with him.  

“Basanna means friendship. Despite his rise to high positions in politics, he is still the same Basu or Basanna for his childhood friends,” recalled several of Chief Minister Basavaj Bommai’s classmates in Hubballi on Wednesday.

Basavaj Bommai’s friends and classmates Rajanikanth Mahajan, Meghasham Ladhad, Murugesh Bendigeri, Ashwin Shangvi, Gautam Burat, Pankaj Thakkar, Raja Desai and Mahendra Singhi assembled at their school, Rotary English Medium School, in Hubballi on Wednesday to celebrate their classmate’s elevation to the Chief Minister’s post.

Recalling playing gunda (or goli gundu), a traditional game played with marble or small glass balls, in which Bommai was an expert, his classmate Ashwin Shangvi remembered how Basu used to win all the time and he would lose. “He would win all my marbles and would return none even if I pleaded. But he is gem of a friend. For him, politics is not a profession but a service to people. I am confident that he will win the hearts of all by his good work,” Ashwin Shangvi said.

Another classmate Gautum Burat recalled how Bommai heeded his request of helping a girl, their classmate, in the examination. He also recalled how even today Bommai recalls him taking his (Gautam’s) bicycle for a ride. His plus point is his friendly nature, he said.

Rajanikanth Mahajan recalled Bommai’s love for cricket. “Weekend meant cricket; we would play cricket for hours together,” he said. His junior and schoolmate Mahendra Singhi, a Congress leader, said that Bommai stood above petty politics. “He is very friendly and a connoisseur of Hindi shayari and cultural programmes. He would attend cultural programmes such as Dandia and Garba till 4 a.m. at times,” Mahendra Singhi said.

His friend, political opponent and secretary of NLE Society (which runs Rotary School) Raja Desai recalled his first election with Basavaraj Bommai. “In 1994, I contested against Bommai (Janata Dal) as a Congress candidate and Jagadish Shettar was the BJP candidate. There was no political rivalry. In fact, on the day of results, Bommai picked me from my home to the counting centre,” he recalled.

Despite his high position, Bommai loved to interact in singular terms with old friends, he said.

Assembling at their school, these friends recalled various anecdotes related to Bommai and expressed the confidence that their friend would do good work for the State, particularly North Karnataka to which he belongs.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 11:54:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/bommais-classmates-recall-his-simplicity-hope-he-will-do-good-work/article35587851.ece

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