Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona

Ambareesh’s elevation a solace to Vokkaligas

Ambareesh’s elevation a solace to Vokkaligas

S. Rajendran


A boost to Congress campaign in Chamundeshwari bypoll



  • He is the first film personality from State to make it to the Union Ministry
  • S.M. Krishna and Tejaswini Sriramesh were among the aspirants

    AFTER A LONG WAIT: M.H. Ambareesh being sworn in Union Minister of State in New Delhi on Tuesday. — Photo: Shanker Chakravarty



    BANGALORE: The elevation of M.H. Ambareesh, three-time member of the Lok Sabha from Mandya and noted film artiste, as a Union Minister of State may have come a day late but nevertheless it has pleased the dominant Vokkaliga community in Karnataka to which he belongs.

    Mr. Ambareesh, who is from Malavalli in Mandya district, is the grandson of late Vidwan T. Chowdiah who played the seven-string violin, and is the first Kannada film artiste and of the film industry here to be made a Union Minister. He now joins the select band of film industry people such as the late Sunil Dutt and Shatrughan Sinha who made it to the Union Ministry.

    Karnataka, however, continues to be denied a Cabinet Minister at the Centre with the other three — Oscar Fernandes, M.V. Rajasekharan and K.H. Muniyappa — being Union Ministers of State.

    Mr. Ambareesh’s entry into the Union Ministry is expected to give a boost to the Congress party in Karnataka in general and the Vokkaligas therein in particular. The Vokkaligas in the Congress have received a shoddy treatment for several years now and have even complained to the Congress high command about this. The Vokkaligas have no representation in the Rajya Sabha and in the All-India Congress Committee.

    The other dominant community in the State, Veerashaivas (Lingayats), also have a similar complaint although Mr. Rajasekharan was accommodated in the Union Council of Ministers in 2004.

    Mr. Ambareesh’s elevation is expected to give a boost to the Congress campaign in the prestigious byelection to the Chamundeshwari Assembly Constituency in Mysore.

    Soon after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that an expansion of the Union Cabinet was round the corner, there were many aspirants from the Congress in Karnataka seeking to be a part of the Ministry. Topping the list was Governor of Maharashtra S.M. Krishna, who is keen on getting back to active politics.

    The others included Tejaswini Sriramesh who believed that she should be a choice since she was the “giant killer” in the 2004 general elections when she defeated former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda in Kanakapura.

    Credit should go to the erstwhile Janata Dal for inviting Mr. Ambareesh (56), who at the time was at the peak of his film career, to join politics. The party fielded him in the byelection to the Legislative Assembly from Ramanagara after Mr. Deve Gowda vacated the seat on being elevated as Prime Minister.

    Although he lost the elections to C.M. Lingappa, Mr. Ambareesh maintained interest in politics and won the 1998 elections to the Lok Sabha by a handsome margin. With general elections repeating in 1999, he maintained his victory margin, and won again for the third time in 2004.

    With the Congress winning only eight of the 28 seats it was widely believed that he would be inducted into the Cabinet straightway.

    Mr. Ambareesh, who reached New Delhi on Monday after being called by the Prime Minister’s office, told The Hindu , “I owe my elevation as Union Minister to the people of Mandya and my fans all over the State. Although I am still not aware of my portfolio, I will do my best for the people of Karnataka and the Congress party. My induction is a case of better late than never.”


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    October 25, 2006 - Posted by | Bangalore, Karnataka and Kannada, Nanjundappa Report

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