MANGALORE: The Karavali region comprising of undivided erstwhile Dakshina Kannada & North Kanara district has reaped a political windfall by bagging five ministerial berths in the Siddaramaiah government.
While four are ministers of Cabinet rank, the fifth is a minister of the state in the form of K Abhayachandra Jain, fourth-time MLA from Mulki, Moodbidri. B Ramanath Rai, sixth-term MLA from Bantwal and UT Khader, third-term MLA from Mangalore, have expectedly made it as cabinet ministers.
From Udupi, Vinay Kumar Sorake, a third-term MLA and one-time MP, has expectedly been inducted as a cabinet minister where as veteran RV Deshpande of Haliyala of North Kanara is back as Cabinet Minister.
This numeric representation to the coast is also an indicator of a move to further strengthen the party’s fortunes that had taken a dip in the last decade or so and also seen in political circles as a reward for returning 10 out of 13 MLAs in DK and Udupi. Congress has seven out of eight MLAs in DK and three out of five in Udupi.
Abhayachandra Jain, also a two-term MLC, told that he is thankful to the party leaders for making him a minister amid all the demands on the leadership by ministerial aspirants.
“There were 56 former ministers in the race for 33 berths,” Jain said, adding that after the Moily ministry when erstwhile undivided DK had five ministers, including Veerappa Moily as CM, it is now for the first time that the district has bagged these many ministerial berths.
Khader attributed his elevation to the well wishers, and the electorate in general and the party workers in particular. “It was on everyone’s minds and wishes that I become a minister this time even as the party announced me as its candidate for Mangalore constituency,” he said, thanking party leaders Oscar Fernandes, Rahman Khan, CK Jaffer Sharief, CM Ibrahim and B Janardhan Poojary. “I will reach out to the people with their blessings,” he said.
For Rai, the senior most in this part of the state, restoring the vitiated communal atmosphere was the top most on his priorities. “There have been promises galore on development, none of which have materialized,” he said, adding that ensuring permanent drinking water to the rural areas too top his agenda.
“With the Union government too headed by the Congress, getting additional funds for the district’s development should not be an issue,” he averred.
Having chosen Kaup in Udupi over Puttur that elected him MLA twice, Sorake too harped on the need to bridge the chasms created by the divisive politics practiced by the BJP in the past. “It is time that the Udupi district took strides in development,” Sorake, who thanked AICC president Sonia Gandhi for his elevation, said. He concurred with Rai in stating that development could receive a fillip with greater quantum of funding from the Centre.