Playground controversy: Shettar, Joshi resign

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HUBLI, November 26:   The former Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and BJP State chief Pralhad Joshi have resigned from honorary posts in the Karnataka Gymkhana Association (KGA), which is facing public agitation for its efforts to convert a playground at Deshpande Nagar in Hubli into a sports and recreation club.

Various organisations, led by the Hubli Sports Ground Bachao Samiti (HSGBS) and its honorary president Patil Puttappa, have been agitating for over three months against the proposed sports and recreation club. They had also, on several occasions in the past, demanded that Mr. Shettar and Mr. Joshi quit the honorary posts.

The samiti had alleged that the mere holding of the posts by Mr. Shettar and Mr. Joshi had indirectly forced the authorities concerned to overlook the violations allegedly committed by the KGA and had demanded that the playground allotted to the association be taken back. Now, an inquiry into the proposed sports and recreation club is being held by Dharwad Deputy Commissioner Sameer Shukla, based on the direction of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

According to KGA, the resignations of honorary president (Mr. Shettar) and honorary vice-president (Mr. Joshi) were accepted at a special general body meeting of the association on November 23. The general body unanimously elected C.C. Dixit and C.S. Patil as honorary president and vice-president of KGA for 2013-14. The general body also unanimously endorsed the work taken up by the development committee.

Treasurer of the association Govind Joshi, brother of Mr. Joshi, said that Mr. Shettar and Mr. Joshi had tendered their resignations after their names were unnecessarily dragged into the controversy and false allegations were made against them. However, the association had kept them pending, and it accepted them during the special general body meeting, he said.

He clarified that they had submitted their resignations to their memberships of the association also and the KGA was yet to take a decision on it.


In a release, Hubli Sports Ground Bachao Samiti has said that it would welcome the move, though it had come late. However, it said that the action of Mr. Shettar and Mr. Joshi was based on selfish motive. Samiti president C.B.L. Hegde and other office-bearers have said that the resignations were only a ploy to avoid embarrassment during the Belgaum legislature session and also in view of the Lok Sabha elections.

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