KARNATAKA

Govt. eases out Bangarappa's supporter

SHIMOGA, MARCH 3. The S.M. Krishna Government, which has not taken kindly to the manner in which the former Chief Minister and member of the dissolved Lok Sabha, S. Bangarappa, left the Congress, appears to be in a retaliatory mood against him and his confidants who hold key nominated posts.

The first to go was K. Venkatesh Gowda, a close confidant of Mr. Bangarappa, who was asked to resign the post of the Chairman of the Shimoga Urban Development Authority (SUDA). He assumed charge six months ago. The General Secretary of the Shimoga District Congress Committee, N. Ramesh, has been nominated to the post. Mr. Ramesh took charge on Wednesday.

Although the manner in which Mr. Venkatesh Gowda was stripped of his post was sudden, it was clear that his nomination was at the behest of Mr. Bangarappa. Therefore, his dismissal was not surprising. The appointment of Mr. Venkatesh Gowda as Chairman of SUDA had raised many eyebrows. There were many aspirants for the post who were senior to him. It was evident that the Government yielded to the pressure of Mr. Bangarappa to nominate Mr. Venkatesh Gowda.

Mr. Ramesh, who has remained loyal to the party, has been rewarded. He hails from a backward community and is a confidant of the district in-charge and Health and Family Welfare Minister, Kagodu Thimmappa.

The transfer of several district-level officials recently has been attributed to the fallout of Mr. Bangarappa's exit from the Congress. The transferred officials were seen as his "supporters" although the Government denied it. The rank and file of the Congress in the district heaved a sigh of relief over the decision of Mr. Bangarappa to quit the party. Meanwhile, Mr. Ramesh, who spoke at a function after assuming charge, said that he would do his best to make Shimoga a model city in the State.

He sought the cooperation of the Government and the public in implementing development work undertaken by SUDA. The member of the dissolved Legislative Assembly, representing the Hosnagar constituency, G.D. Narayanappa, thanked the Government for having nominated a deserving person as the SUDA Chairman and hoped that the city would see many more development schemes under the stewardship of Mr. Ramesh.

The Chairman of the Bhadra Command Area Development Authority, R. Prasannakumar, the zilla panchayat member, Kalgodu Rathnakar, and the SUDA member, Keshavappa, spoke. The Commissioner of SUDA, Balakrishna, welcomed the gathering