Vidyavardhaka Sangha set for polls


More-than-a-century-old Karnatak Vidyavardhaka Sangha, a representative body of Kannada and Kannadigas, based in Dharwad, is all set to choose a new managing committee with the election process scheduled to begin on November 12.

In the last five decades, this is the first time in the history of the organisation that elections will be held in the absence of veteran journalist and activist Patil Puttappa, who held the post for 48 years. Nonagenarian Puttappa was re-elected to the post during the previous election. The post became vacant after his demise in March 2020.

Elections to elect a new body of 15 members was scheduled for May, but was put off following the COVID-19 situation. The calendar of events for the election has been announced now. The election process will begin on November 12 and polling will be held on November 28.

The Sangha has 7,598 members who are eligible to vote. They have to elect 15 members, including candidates for the posts of president, working president, vice-president, general secretary, treasurer and joint secretary. The executive committee comprises nine members.

Three factions

All these years, the Sangha used to witnees a direct fight between two groups, one led by Mr. Patil Puttappa and the other comprising his opponents and critics. With the passing away of Mr. Puttappa, better known as ‘Papu’, a new group has taken shape. Thus, three groups are preparing for the elections.

The group associated with Patil Puttappa has decided to field former MLA Chandrakanth Bellad for the president’s post while the other two factions are unlikely to field a candidate for the post.

Mr. Shankar Halgatthi, who leads the ‘Saman Manaskara Tanda’ (like-minded people’s team) and held the post of general secretary, is in the fray. In this team, writer Prof. Malati Pattanshetti is contesting for the vice-president’s post, senior counsel Basavaprabhu Hosakeri for working president’s post, Shivanand Bhavikatti for treasurer and Shivappa Karatagi for joint secretary. Their team also has Savita Kusugal contesting for women reserved seat, B. Maruti for SC/ST reserved seat, and Dr. Sanjiv Kulkarni, Guru Hiremath, Shrishail Huddar, Shailaja Amarshetty, Shashidhar Todkar, Shashi Sali and Ravi Kulkarni contesting for posts of executive members.

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General Secretary and senior advocate Prakash Udakeri, who leads the Papu faction, is seeking re-election. This group has Sadanand Shivalli for vice-president’s post, Manoj Patil for working president, Satish Turmuri for treasurer, Shankar Kumbi for joint-secretary, Dhanvanth Hajavgol for SC/ST reserved seat, Vishweshwari Hiremath for women reserved seat. Martandappa Katti, Harsh Dambal, Jinadutt Hadagali, Mahesh Horakeri, Sharanamma Gorebal, Veeranna Waddin and Abhishek Desai are contesting for posts of executive member.

The third faction is led by actor-turned-politician Subhash Shinde. This faction is not contesting for the post of general secretary and is also yet to come up with a list of candidates for the various posts. It has to be seen whether this group will retain the enthusiasm to contest by the time the nomination process begins on November 12.

As per the calendar of events, the last date for filing nomination papers is November 16. Scrutiny of papers will take place on November 17, and candidates will have till November 19 to withdraw nomination papers. The final list of candidates will be declared on November 20. Polling will take place on November 28 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at KVS. Counting of votes will take place on November 29.



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Sagar Biswas

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