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BJP appointing Billava leaders to key posts in DK seen as move to consolidate votebank

BJP appointing Billava leaders to key posts in DK seen as move to consolidate votebank

Mangalore Today News Network

Mangaluru, June 14, 2020: After springing a surprise by nominating two grassroots workers to the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, the BJP has decided to follow its policy of rewarding its loyal activists even at the district level.

Two prominent members of the BJP from the Billava community – Ravishankar Mijar and Harikrishna Bantwal – have been appointed chiefs of the Mangaluru Urban Development Authority (Muda) and Keonics Ltd respectively. The move is being seen by political observers as part of the party’s strategy to consolidate its support among the Billava community members.

Ravishankar Mijar


Harikrishna Bantwal


Harikrishna’s elevation as the chief of Keonics, considered one of the leading corporations in Karnataka, is being perceived as a political masterstroke. In addition to being a former member of the Sangh Parivar, Harikrishna had, as recently as three years ago, been a loyalist of former minister and senior Congress member B Ramanath Rai. Prior to falling out with Rai and the Congress three years ago, Harikrishna had been one of BJP’s most vocal critic. But he has been rewarded suitably for severing his long tryst with the Congress with a plum post.

Sudarshan Moodbidri, president of BJP’s Dakshina Kannada unit, endorsing the party’s decision to elevate Harikrishna and Mijar, said that their appointments would have occurred much earlier but for the pandemic crisis. “Despite having been a trusted lieutenant of the former KPCC president B Janardhan Poojari for many years, his service went unacknowledged there. We have identified his leadership abilities,” Sudarshan said.

The lockdown having forced the temporary closure of Keonics, Harikrishna said that he would chalk out a plan to restart operations there in accordance with the safety norms. “Keonics has around 180 franchisees across Karnataka, and steps will be taken to revitalise operations at all units. We will usher in transparency in the purchase of both hardware and software that Keonics makes for the state government,” he added.

Courtesy: Times of India

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