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Dharna staged for Kodagu State

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, FEB. 3. Members of the Kodava Rashtriya Samiti on Thursday staged a dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue demanding a separate State for Kodavas. Kodagu was a Part "C" State before the reorganisation of States in 1956.

The issue of the alleged neglect of Kodagu was raised in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday and the Revenue Minister, M.P. Prakash, maintained that every effort is being made to protect and promote the distinct culture of the Kodavas.

The Government has released Rs. 10 crores from the Cauvery Neeravari Nigam to develop the Bhagamandala region. Land has been identified to set up a Sainik school in the district, he told the House.

Yemen connection

To a question from Vatal Nagaraj (Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha) on the Government's neglect of the development of the district and Kodava culture, Mr. Prakash said Kodava culture has a long history and, according to one source, Kodavas migrated from Yemen.

After the formation of the State in 1956, a large number of non-Kodavas settled in various parts of the district and the feeling is that non-Kodavas such as Vokkaligas and Lingayats outnumber the Kodava population.

The Government has set up the Kodava Academy to promote Kodava culture and sufficient funds will be released to it, Mr. Prakash said.

Dissatisfied with the reply, Mr. Nagaraj staged a walkout from the House.

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