Posts Tagged ‘S. Bangarappa’

The Editor who foresaw Siddaramaiah as CM

10 May 2013

Photo Caption

K.B. Ganapathy, editor-in-chief of Star of Mysore, on the man who will be Karnataka’s next CM, in today’s paper:

“Back in November 2010 I had gone to Siddaramaiah‘s Mysore house with Mysooru Mithra editor M. Govinde Gowda to invite him personally for my second son’s wedding.

“As expected, the house was full of people spilling over to the road with many vehicles parked around. His aide took us to the dining hall where he was sitting at the head of the table alone, probably for our meeting.

“After the initial courtesies and platitudes I gave him the invitation and requested him to bless the groom in a customary way. As is his wont, he was expressionless and silent for a while and said that he would come.

“I did not believe him.

“I asked him about the political mess the BJP was in at that time and he mumbled something that I don’t remember now. However, I told him that it was good that he joined Congress and Congress never disappoints its loyal members in the matter of rewarding them suitably.

“He lifted his inclined head in slow-motion, looked at me and smiled. Who would not like to hear a positive prognosis of oneself?

“I continued. I said in Karnataka, in the past many years of Congress rule, I had seen that senior Congress members who were ministers and aspired to become chief ministers had realised their aspirations even if it was only for two or three years, and gave the recent examples of Bangarappa, Veerappa Moily and S.M. Krishna (who was deputy chief minister like Siddharamaiah).

“Therefore, you too will become the Chief Minister,” I told Siddaramaiah.

“Now I could see his lips turn elastic revealing his teeth from right molar to left molar with a twitch of his snubby nose. Eyes too twinkled for a fleeting second.

“I am happy to tell my readers, Siddaramaiah indeed kept his words and attended my son’s wedding held at Mysore Race Club premises.”

Photograph: Siddaramaiah gestures to the crowd after being elected as the leader of the Congress legislative party, at the KPCC Office in Bangalore on Friday (Karnataka Photo News)

POLL: Does Yediyurappa’s KJP stand a chance?

10 December 2012

The disgraceful nataka in BJP-ruled Karnataka has taken yet another farcical turn with the former chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa formally launching his own regional party, the Karnataka Janata Party, from the central town of Haveri on Sunday. With just a few months to go before the term of the current assembly ends, the “gateway to the south” is clearly now in election mode.

Yediyurappa’s is not the first regional party in the State: from D. Devaraj Urs to Ramakrishna Hegde to S. Bangarappa, the pot of regionalism has been periodically simmering, usually in vain. But there are three key differences between then and now.

One, while those worthies at least had the semblance of the greater common good—social justice, land reforms, secularism, etc—Yediyurappa and his ilk have had no bigger aim or objective than cloaking their own self-interest in reginoal colours . Witness the constant refrain of “sthaana-maana” in the last couple of years.

Two, while M/s Urs, Hegde and Bangarappa represented small communities, Yediyurappa represents the large Lingayat community, which is neck and neck with the Vokkaligas in numerical strength. So, to that extent, Yediyurappa has given his community the political equivalent of H.D. Deve Gowda‘s Janata Dal (Secular).

And three, and perhaps most importantly, Yediyurappa’s party comes at a time when the two national parties, the Congress and BJP, are in decline across the nation, as evidenced by diminishing vote share and seat share, odd exceptions notwithstanding.

Questions: Will Yediyurappa’s attempt pay off? Is Karnataka ready for a regional party? Will he eat into BJP votes or Congress votes? Can he get the majority to form a government? If not, will he tie up with the BJP or the Congress? Or, will his political outfit be an insiginficant player, which will be his shield against the cases against him and his sons?

Also read: Is it all over for B.S. Yediyurappa?

How much longer will BSY stay in BJP?


December is when a migratory bird flies the coop

27 December 2010

Middle age is when one of your shoe laces comes off and you wonder if you should bend down now and tie it up, or wait for some time for the other lace also to come off before you tie them both.

Old age is, well, when it just doesn’t matter; there will always be some lackey around to slip on your slip-ons. In Shimoga, yesterday, an aide helps former chief minister Sarekoppa Bangarappa do the needful.

This December, Bangarappa indicated he may join the Janata Dal (Secular) from the Congress. Two Decembers ago, he joined the Congress from the Samajwadi Party. And 27 Decembers ago, he merged his Karnataka Kranti Ranga with the Congress.

In all, Bangarappa has left and joined a party nine times.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: It’s news only when Deve Gowda takes a snooze

Red or white, Bangarappa is ready to fight

Umbrellas, shoes, our democracy and theirs

It’s news only when Deve Gowda takes a snooze

23 March 2009

Body language ain’t for cricketers alone. Four former Congress chief ministers of Karnataka—from left, S.M. Krishna, Veerappa Moily, S. Bangarappa and Dharam Singh—convey vastly different attitudes to The Big Game on the anvil at the rally addressed by Sonia Gandhi in Davanagere on Monday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

More things change, more they remain the same

27 December 2008

History, it is said, first repeats itself as a tragedy, then as a farce. But usually no one is laughing, no one is even noticing.


From Deccan Herald, 25 years ago, 26 December 1983:

‘Kranti Ranga merger with Congress likely’

New Delhi: The merger of the Karnataka Kranti Ranga with the Congress(I) appeared a distinct possibility today after S. Bangarappa had a meeting with Prime Minister and Congress(I) President Indira Gandhi here this morning. The Kranti Ranga leader, who had been forced out of the Congress(I) two years ago following his differences with the then Chief Minister, R. Gundu Rao, arrived here last night. “We talked about the general political situation,” was all he said.

From Deccan Herald, yesterday, exactly 25 years later, 26 December 2008:

‘Bangarappa wants to rejoin Congress’

Bangalore: Samajwadi Party state president S. Bangarappa is all set to return to the Congress. He, on Thursday, said that he was mentally prepared to contest from Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency on the Congress ticket in the next Lok Sabha polls. He said that his main objective in the state’s politics was to fight communal forces. “In order to pevent L.K. Advani becoming the Prime Minister, secular forces should come together and make sure that UPA continues to hold power at the Centre,” he said.

Bangarappa said he would convene Samajwadi Party working committee meeting and take a decision to merge party’s state unit with the Congress. He said he had been invited to the Congress by KPCC President R.V. Deshpande, working president D.K. Shiva Kumar and the party’s Shimoga unit. He would convey his decision to the SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, he added.

Bangarappa’s son and former minister Kumar Bangarappa has welcomed his father’s decision to return to the Congress.

Government Work is Godman’s Work in Gokarna

4 September 2008

The Om-shaped beacha at Gokarna

The Om-shaped beach at Gokarna

D.P. SATISH writes from New Delhi: In the run-up to the assembly elections in Karnataka and shortly after, B.S. Yediyurappa made an obscene number of visits to mutts and other seats of spirituality, falling at the feet of gurus, godmen and swamijis, big and small, and seeking their blessings to achieve his life’s ambition of becoming chief minister.

Now that he is in the saddle, is it payback time?

The conclusion is harsh, perhaps unjust, but inescapable.

The handing over of the Mahabaleshwara Temple in Gokarna (in Uttara Kannada district) to the Ramachandrapur mutt (located in Hosanagar, Shimoga district) on August 14 is the clearest indication yet that our so-called jagadgurus, who shamelessly cross the line from the spiritual to the temporal to the material, are now demanding (and extracting) their pound of the puliyogare.


The temple transfer was reportedly made on the basis of documents that the temple was under the purview of the mutt till 1860. But by selectively and clandestinely “privatising” the administration and running of just one temple out of thousands in the State, Team Yedi has in one stroke, as it were, demonstrated that government work under the BJP is not God’s work but godman’s work.

Documents published in Gauri Lankesh‘s eponymous tabloid last week show that as recently as April this year, when the State was under President’s rule, the muzrai department had asserted that the Mahabaleshwara Temple was a “public temple” and that “there was no legal provision to transfer it to a private party or to a mutt“. So what changed between 1 April 2008 and 14 August 2008?


Aside from the legality of the temple transfer, the issue throws up six larger questions:

1) If the Gokarna temple was under the purview of the Ramachandrapur mutt till the 1860s, then by extension it can be contended that almost all temples in the State were once a part of some mutt or the other. Is the government ready to outsource the running of all these temples back to the original mutts or claimants? If so, by when? If not, why not?

Is the government ready to allow Kurubas to take over the Sri Krishna temple in Udupi, if the kurubas make a similar demand? Will the Chamundeshwari Temple atop Chamundi Hills and the Sri Ranganatha Temple in Srirangapatna be transferred to Srikantadatta Wodeyar because they were built by the Mysore kings?

2) What is the connection between the Chief Minister’s Office and the Ramachandrapur mutt, aside from both being from the same area in Shimoga? Why has the mutt suddenly received preferential treatment, when Wodeyar says the Gokarna temple should have been transferred to the Shringeri Sharada Mutt, which has been around longer than the Ramachandrapur mutt?

3) In interviews, the head of the Ramachandrapur mutt and his devotees have been claiming that the temple transfer is part of a larger bid to clean up Gokarna, also known as Dakshin Kashi. The reference here is to the not-so-holy activities that take place on the holy beaches of Gokarna. If true, does the writ of the State no longer run here? And is only a mutt located in a neighbouring district qualified to rectify that?

4) Does such a midnight transfer of a public property into private hands threaten its democratic DNA? The Mahabaleshwara temple has always welcomed devotees from all castes and religions insides the shrine. They are even allowed to touch the ‘Athma Linga‘ and pray. Is the fear of lower-caste Hindus that they will no longer be allowed inside the ‘Garbha Gruha’ far-fetched?

5) Above all, the selective transfer raises troubling questions over transparency. As a profitable temple run by the muzrai department, the Gokarna temple’s administration, activities, programmes, were open to public scrutiny under the Right to Information Act. Will the public have similar access when a private mutt is given charge? The profits were earlier ploughed into the development of other, “poorer” temples across the State. Will that continue?

(An early indication of the shape of things to come. The mutt‘s representatives barged into the temple a day after the government issued the order and broke open the hundis. The mutt says it got just Rs 40 lakh; news reports say the collection was four to five times that sum.)

6) Will the Gokarna temple transfer open the floodgates? Sources say some Lingayat mutts are trying to grab at least two dozen profit-making muzrai temples in the State. Since nobody can now accuse Yediyurappa of favouring only Lingayats, will the path be paved by the government? And how much longer before Vokkaliga mutts, and Kuruba mutts, and mutts of other communities start putting in their applications?


A website maintained by the Ramachandrapur mutt claims the mutt was established at Gokarna over 1,200 years ago by Adi Shankara who anointed one of his disciples Shree Vidyananda as the first pontiff. It is a mutt affiliated to the Shringeri Sharada Mutt. The heads of the mutt are known by the suffix, Bharati. They also have a title Gokarna Mahamandaladhishwara.

The mutt is mostly frequented by Havyaka Brahmins, a minuscule community scattered over the Western Ghats—in Madikeri, Puttur, Sulya, Kasaragod, Sagar, Hosanagar, Soraba, Siddapura, Sirsi, Yellapura, Kumta, Honnavara and Ankola taluks–who and grow betel nut and spices for livelihood. The total population of Havyaka Brahmins is less than 3 lakhs although a Wikipedia entry pegs the figure at 1 lakh. Half of them now live in Bangalore and other parts of the world.

Generally speaking, heads of the Ramachandrapur mutt heads have always kept to themselves and rarely mingled with the public and politicians.

All that changed in when the present head of the mutt Raghaveshwara Bharti (in picture, left) took charge in the mid 1990s after the death of his predecessor Raghavendra Bharati, who had reigned for 50 years.

Raghavendra Bharati had strictly followed the mutt’s traditions. He had never entertained politicians and businessmen, and was known as ‘Doorvasa‘ or ‘Jamadagni‘ because of his mood swings and short fuse. But, he was a scholar and a man of integrity. Nobody had the temerity to question his character, integrity and intentions. He was both feared and respected by his followers.

But the 7th standard pass Raghaveshwara Bharati (born Chaduravalli Hareesha Bhat alias Hareesha Sharma), who reportedly sees some Lingayat and Vokkaliga swamijis as models to emulate, altered the mutt‘s image and public perception.

Devotees say following his ascent, the mutt became more like a business establishment.

The Shringeri seer is believed to have admonished him for indulging in non–religious and non-spiritual activities. It seems to have had no impact on his ambitions.

Raghaveshwara Bharati is alleged to have opened the doors of the mutt to all manner of people, including politicians, cinema stars, brokers, businessmen, shady journalists, real estate developers, among others. Insiders say some Havyaka Brahmin journalists, jealous of the clout enjoyed by fellow Lingayat and Vokkaliga journalists, used him to increase their clout in the corridors of power.

Result: the real followers of the mutt were made to feel like second-class /grade devotees. Those who questioned him were targetted and silenced.

One more result: From being a seat of learning, the Ramachandrapur mutt slowly became a political hothouse of the RSS-VHP. Not soon after, Raghaveshwara Bharati started dictating terms to BJP leaders.

Overnight, the mutt became the epicentre of the “Save the Cow” movement. The Vishwa Gou Sammelana, organised by the mutt, was telecast over several hours by the Bangalore centre of Doordarshan, with director Mahesh Joshi playing a stellar role in the coverage.

Once almost bankrupt and obscure, the mutt is now said to be worth over Rs 100 crore. Credit of this phenomenal growth should go to the skills of Raghaveshwara Bharati and his coterie, which also includes former top cop T. Madiyal, who headed the Special Task Force to catch Veerappan.

Yediyurappa, who is also from the same Hosanagar area, is one of the latest entrants into the swamiji’s fold. He started hobnobbing with him only in 2006. The 2008 assembly polls brought them closer, and the swamiji is believed to have exhorted his followers to vote for the BJP.

The transfer of the temple following the BJP’s victory in the elections, comes against this backdrop. Raghaveshwara Bharati was reportedly eyeing Gokarna and its economic potential for a long time. He studied Sanskrit at Gokarna for 12 years and knows the real worth of its temples.

In turn, Yediyurappa believes that the temple-transfer will consolidate BJP vote bank in Malnad.

In divesting the government’s muzrai department from the administration of the temple, the BJP ironically has fulfilled a key “secular” demand to keep “State” apart from “Religion”, but the fact that it has done so with regard to only one temple, raises more questions than provides answers.

Last Sunday, on a live, one-hour question and answer session on “Chandana”, with DD director Mahesh Joshi once again in the frame, Raghaveshwara Bharati looked smug and dismissive.

A caller from Kumta said: ‘Beedi nayi bogalidre, devaloka halagalla. Mahaswamigale, thaavu yaarigoo uttara needa-bedi (swamiji needn’t answer every barking dog on the temple transfer)”. Raghaveshwara Bharati approvingly nodded his head.

Does it mean that people like Siddaramaiah, S. Bangarappa, H.D. Deve Gowda, and Mallikarjuna Kharge, who are openly opposing the transfer, are no better than stray dogs questioning a divine deal?

Photographs: courtesy Outlook Traveller, and Gou Vishwa Kosha

Also read: What role should our swamijis, religious gurus play?

CHURUMURI POLL: Should swamijis go abroad?

Do our gods sanction our politicians’ silly games?

It’s true, God helps those who help themselves

You win some, you lose some in the great game

25 May 2008

Some big guns have been silenced at the hands of people power, bringing under question accepted notions of vintage, big money, star power, and the suspected powers of the excise lobby.

Former chief minister, Dharam Singh, looking to enter the record books from Jevargi; former heavy industries minister, R.V. Deshpande from Haliyal; actor-politician Ambarish from Srirangapatna; former deputy chief minister M.P. Prakash in Harapanahalli; and former chief minister S. Bangarappa, who took on B.S. Yediyurappa in Shikaripura.

churumuri‘s amateur, grassroots surveys had predicted the victories of the first two, but was on the ball with the other three.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News


15 May 2008

R. KANNAN and S.S. KARNADSHA write: Voters in 66 constituencies in 10 districts go to the polls tomorrow in the second phase of the elections to the Karnataka Assembly. And is pleased to offer its second, amateur, grassroots survey of how it is likely to turn out for the parties.

Our short term reading: BJP 31, Congress, 26, JDS 9.

Our medium term prediction: It’s going to be a hung assembly.

Like in the first survey (see full methodology below), we travelled to at least one constituency in six of the 10 districts going to the polls tomorrow. For the other districts, we relied on a variety of sources over the telephone, and also took into account media reports.

Unlike other opinion polls and pre-poll surveys, which only give a random seat count, we pinpoint the likely winners in each of the 66 constituencies.

Among our key findings are:

# It is going to be 50-50 for the Congress and the BJP in the communally hot coastal districts despite Narendra Modi‘s campaign, and a CNN-IBN-CSDS-Deccan Herald finding.

# B.S. Yediyurappa looks more likely to overcome S. Bangarappa in the battle of former chief ministers in Shikaripura despite Congress and JDS not putting up candidates.

# M.P. Prakash the former deputy chief minister, who hopped over to the Congress from JDS is likely to be trounced in Harapanahalli.

# Mine baron Anil Lad is unlikely to break the stranglehold of the Reddy brothers in Bellary city despite his jump to the Congress and Diwakar Babu‘s return to the party.

# M.P. Renukacharya is set to return to the assembly from Honnali despite the scandal surrounding his involvement in the nurse Jayalakshmi.

By our reckoning, after the first two phases of polling, the Congress will end up with 67 seats, the BJP with 52, and JDS 30. The half-way mark in the 224-member Karnataka assembly is 114. Which means of the remaining 69 seats in the third and final phase of polling, the Congress will have to bag 47 and the BJP 62 to form a government on their own.

Which also means JDS, which has 30 seats from the first two phases by our count, will again play a very key role in the formation of the next government, as predicted by H.D. Deve Gowda. Either one of the two big parties will have to swallow its pride and tie up with it again, or there will have to be defections en masse from the JDS ranks.

Only Suvarna News (through C-Fore) has conducted an exit poll of the first phase and a pre-poll survey of the second phase. By C-Fore’s reckoning, Congress will end up with between 59-67 seats, BJP 60-66, and JDS 25-31 at the end of the two phases of polling. By that count, Congress have have to bag 47 of the remaining 69, and BJP 44.

Statistically, anything is possible, but how likely?


CHITRADURGA: Congress 4, JDS 2

Chitradurga: Congress, G.H. Tippa Reddy
Hosadurga: Congress, B.G. Govindappa
Hiriyur: JDS, D. Yashodhara
Challakere (ST): Congress, Sashikumar
Molkalmuru (ST): JDS, G.M. Tippeswamy
Holalkere (SC): Congress, H Anjaneya


BELLARY: Congress 3, BJP 6

Bellary (ST): BJP, B Sriramulu
Hadagali (SC): Congress, P.T. Parameshwara Naik
Hagaribommanahalli (SC): BJP, Nemiraj Naik
Vijayanagar: Congress, H.R. Gaviappa
Sandur (ST): Congress, E. Tukaram
Siraguppa (ST): BJP, M.S. Somalingappa
Bellary city: BJP, G. Somashekara Reddy
Kampli (ST): BJP, T.H. Suresh Babu
Kudligi (ST): BJP, B. Nagendra


DAVANAGERE: Congress 3, BJP 5

Jagalur (ST): BJP, H.P. Rajesh
Harapanahalli: BJP, G. Karunakara Reddy
Honnali: BJP, M.P. Renukacharya
Davangere North: BJP, H.A. Ravindranath
Davangere South: Congress, Shamanur Shivashankarappa
Mayakonda (SC): BJP, Basava Raja Naik
Harihar: Congress, Dr. Y. Nagappa
Chennagiri: Congress, Vadnal Rajanna


SHIMOGA: Congress 3, BJP 3, JD(S) 1

Shimoga rural (SC): Congress, Kariyanna
Shimoga: BJP, K.S. Eswarappa
Bhadravathi: JDS, Appaji M.J.
Soraba: Congress, Kumar Bangarappa
Tirthahalli: BJP , Araga Gnanedra
Shikaripura : BJP, B.S. Yediyurappa
Sagar: Congress, Kagodu Thimmappa



Sringeri: BJP, D.N. Jeevaraj
Moodigere (SC): BJP, M.P. Kumaraswamy
Chikmagalur : BJP , C.T. Ravi
Tarikere: JDS, H. Omkarappa
Kadur: BJP, Dr. Vishwanath



Haliyal: Congress, R.V. Deshpande
Kumta: BJP, Sashibhooshan Hegde
Karwar: Congress, Anand Asnotikar
Bhatkal: Congress, J.D. Naik
Sirsi: BJP, Vishweshwara Hegde
Yellapur: BJP, Veerabhadra Gowda Patil



Belthangady: Congress, Vasanth Bangera
Moodabidiri : JDS, K. Amaranatha Shetty
Mangalore City North: BJP , Krishna Palemar
Mangalore City South: BJP, N. Yogeesh Bhat
Mangalore: Congress, U.T. Khader
Bantwal: BJP, Nagaraja Shetty
Puttur: Congress, Bondala Jaganatha Shetty
Sullia (SC): BJP , S. Angara


UDUPI: Congress 2, BJP 3

Baindur: BJP, K. Lakshminarayana
Kundapura: Congress, K. Jayaprakash Hegde
Udupi: BJP, Raghupathi Bhat
Kapu: Congress, Vasanth Saliyan
Karkala: BJP, V. Sunil Kumar


RAICHUR: Congress 3, BJP 1, JDS 3

Raichur rural (ST): JDS, Raja Rangappa Naik
Raichur: BJP, A. Papa Reddy
Manvi: Congress (ST), G. Hampaiah
Devdurga (ST): JDS, Shivana Gowda
Maski (ST): Congress, Timappa
Lingasagur (SC): JDS, T.L. Naik
Sindhanur: Congress, Hampanagouda Badarli


KOPPAL: Congress 2, BJP 2, JDS 1

Kushtagi: Congress, Amaregouda Byappur
Gangavati: JDS, Iqbal Ansari
Yelaburga: Congress, Basavaraj Rayareddy
Kanakagiri (SC): BJP, Shamanna Hulagappa Narinala
Koppal: BJP, Andanappa Agadi


METHODOLOGY: How did we crunch these numbers?

1. We went to at least one constituency in six of the 10 districts.

2. We studied the voting pattern of each constituency since 1978 using Election Commission data.

3. In the case of constituencies that have been newly created or spiked due to delimitation of seats, we have examined the chunks that have moved or have been clubbed together.

4. We have looked at each contesting candidate and have drawn a winnability graph keeping local factors in mind. Aspects like personal charisma, nurturing constituency with development projects, and also party-hopping have been factored in.

5. We have cross-checked our lists with strategists of all major political parties. We have discounted their claims when they have been bombastic and accommodated them when they have been realistic.

6. We have studied the percentage of votes polled by each party and the victory margins of all seats in the 2004 election. We have given the benefit of doubt to the runner up in 2004 elections if he has lost by a thin margin and is contesting again. In some cases it is the runner up political party that gets this advantage although they have changed the candidate.

7. Due to the strict EC poll code we have given very little chance to new faces and parties entering a constituency for the first time. We believe that the process of new faces or new parties getting registered in the minds of voters has not happened.

8. We have checked the BSP factor by looking at their presence and performance in all constituencies in the 2004 elections.

9. Although there is a close contest in some constituencies we stick our head out and give only name per constituency.

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Congress 41, BJP 21, JDS 21

Red or white, Bangarappa is ready to fight

15 May 2008

E.P. Unny, the political cartoonist of The Indian Express, is on the campaign trail in Karnataka, drawing realtime sketches, and turning in insights in prose which itinerant political reporters and correspondents all seem to have decided is beneath them.

From a rally in Anavatti in Shimoga, where S. Bangarappa is campaigning for younger son Madhu Bangarappa against his elder son Kumar Bangarappa, Unny writes:

“Even as the Dad & Darling Son Show gets going, part of the gathering switches towards the helicopter. Evidently the flying machine is a lot more appealing than the bicycle, Bangarappa’s party symbol. Many in the crowd including the ones who turn chopper-wards are wearing a red cap with the bicycle graphic on it.

“One such cap is handed over to Bangarappa as he ascends the dais. He fidgets with it for a while, keeps it aside and sits down to comb his hair. Why should he conceal his fine crop of jet-black hair? Nearly as old as Deve Gowda, at 76, among the many things he has defied is age. Not that he should have any ideological qualms about the red cap itself.

“When the colour runs, it could turn into a lily white Congress cap.”

Read the full article: Battle of the brothers, father thrown in