KARNATAKA

'BCs' progress due to Cong. policies'

TUMKUR APRIL 9. The Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, on Wednesday asserted that the Congress should be given all credit for "the mighty revolution'' which took place during the chief ministership of late D. Devaraj Urs and brought about a political reformation of backward classes. He was inaugurating the Pattabhisheka Mahotsav of Gnananandapuri Swami as Jagadguru of the Thigala community at Sri Mahalakshmi Peetha, Shivaganga, 27 km. from here.

Mr. Krishna said: "I was very much a part of the momentous process then being a member of the Urs Cabinet. The party has inherited the tradition of giving priority to the welfare of weaker sections — Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, backward classes, minorities, the poor, and the downtrodden — from Indira Gandhi, who, as early as 1969, recognised Devaraj Urs. I played a significant role in curbing a strong conspiracy by certain quarters within the party against Urs. I was largely instrumental in clearing ways for Urs to become the Chief Minster in 1972. I am happy to this day that we were able to accomplish that task then.''

Mr. Krishna declared that Indira Gandhi's tradition was kept in tact. Every one in the party followed the tradition. The party was pledged to the progress of backward classes on all fronts, including politics. Mr. Krishna was provoked to make these remarks by members of his Cabinet, H.M. Revanna and A. Krishnappa, who spoke earlier, and praised Urs for initiating the process of political empowerment of backward classes. Mr. Krishna said: "Mr. Revanna and Mr. Krishnappa are striving to providing more political opportunities to backward classes. I fully support them.''

Referring to the Thigala community, the Chief Minister recalled that Mudduramaiah of the community was MLA in the early 1970s. Thereafter, nobody from the community could enter the Legislature. Mr. Krishna promised to provide a "big site'' in Bangalore at a concessional rate for the peetha to start a branch there, and to regularise the 1.20-acre bagair hukum land in Sivaganga in favour of the math. However, he was wary about giving land in the Shettihalli tank-bed in Tumkur, and said his Government had undertaken revival of tanks. He was noncommittal on granting Rs. 1 crore for the math's buildings, and suggested: "All of us together can support the venture.''

The Chief Minister readily agreed to provide 15 acres of land at Doddaghatta in Dandinashivara hobli of Turuvekere taluk for the peetha to raise a herbal garden. He lauded Shivamurthy Sharanaru of Murugharajendra Brihanmath, who was present, for producing various herbal medicines, which he had used and found beneficial. Mr. Revanna said Mr. Krishna encouraged leaders from backward classes, and provided more funds in the Budget for the development of these sections.

Mr. Krishnappa said Mr. Krishna set new trends in the welfare of weaker sections. C. Channigappa, MLA from the area, said Mr. Krishna sanctioned Rs. 16 crore to bring Hemavathy river water to Koratagere taluk, and Rs. 30 lakh for solving drinking water problem in villages. Gnananandapuri Swamiji was brought to the dais in Addapallakki. Over 50,000 members of the community greeted his arrival. Shivapuri Swami of Omkar Ashram crowned him.