Ballari: Karnataka is all set to get its 31st district as the Cabinet on Wednesday gave ‘in principle’ approval to carve out a new Vijayanagar district from Ballari.
The decision was taken during an informal discussion on the subject, Law Minister J C Madhuswamy said. Forest Minister Anand Singh, who is also the minister in charge of Ballari, called it a ‘historic decision’ and thanked Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa.
‘This demand was there for many years. Hampi was the capital of the Hindu empire and we want to upgrade it into a prestigious place,’ Singh, who anchored the effort for the new Vijayanagar district, said. We don’t want to hurt anyone. We want to do this by taking everyone into confidence,’ he added.
The plan for a new Vijayanagar district was first officially mooted by Yediyurappa himself in September 2019 when Singh was a disqualified legislator. Singh had resigned from the Congress when the Congress-JD(S) coalition was in power, citing his demand for a new district fell on deaf ears. He went on to join the BJP.
After the plan created a rift, with some BJP legislators threatening to raise a banner of revolt if Ballari was split, Yediyurappa deferred a decision on this. The mining district of Ballari is politically significant, comprising nine Assembly constituencies of which the Congress represents five and the BJP four.
Ballari has 11 taluks and splitting it will ease administration, it is argued. According to the earlier plan, five taluks – Ballari, Kurugodu, Siraguppa, Sandur and Kudligi – will be part of Ballari district, while six other taluks – Hospet, Kampli, Hagaribommanahalli, Kottur, Hadagali and Harapanahalli – will constitute the new Vijayanagar district.
‘We will share the final details after the next Cabinet meeting,’ Madhuswamy said. Social Welfare Minister B Sriramulu, a native of Ballari, had opposed the plan to create a new district. After the Cabinet meeting, however, he appeared to have come on board. ‘There was confusion about this. It’s a long-pending demand.
We’ve decided informally thanks to all our efforts. The CM and the government will take the final decision,’ he said.Yadgir was the last district created in Karnataka when it was carved out of Kalaburagi in 2009.