Deputy CM Shivakumar raises pitch for renaming Ramanagara district as Bengaluru South

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Bengaluru, Jul 9 (PTI) A proposal to rename neighbouring Ramanagara district as ‘Bengaluru South’ has once again gained steam, with a Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar-led delegation on Tuesday meeting Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and submitting a memorandum to raise the pitch.

JD(S) leader and now Union Minister H D Kumaraswamy was the Chief Minister of the JD(S)-BJP coalition, when Ramanagara district was created in August 2007.

Kumaraswamy had earlier threatened to go on a fast unto death if the Karnataka government decides to go-ahead with the proposal to rename the district.

Ramanagara district is the political turf of Kumaraswamy as he has represented Ramanagara and Channapatna Assembly segments, and also had been an MP from the region.

The proposal has gained significance ahead of Channapatna Assembly bypolls -- the date for which is yet to be announced -- necessitated following Kumaraswamy's election to Lok Sabha from Mandya.

The delegation consisting of district in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy, former Bangalore Rural MP D K Suresh, several Congress legislators and former legislators from the district has also proposed that Ramanagara town, about 50 kms from here, remain as the headquarters of the renamed district.

"There is a feeling among people of Ramanagara, Magadi, Kanakapura, Channapatna and Harohalli taluks that Bengaluru's international reputation, sovereignty and prestige should be available to their taluks too and it also our thinking," Shivakumar and other members of the delegation, who are signatories to the memorandum, said.

"So the current Ramanagara district consisting of these taluks should be renamed, and Ramanagara taluk should be declared its headquarters," they said.

Shivakumar, who hails from the district, had last year too spoken about the plans to rename Ramanagara district as Bengaluru South, with which he hopes for impact of ‘Brand Bengaluru’ on smaller nearby towns.

Speaking to reporters after meeting the Chief Minister, Shivakumar said the proposal might be placed before the Cabinet to "discuss and decide." "We are all from Bengaluru district -- Bengaluru city, Doddaballapura, Devanahalli, Hoskote, Ramanagara, Channapatna, Kanakapura, Magadi -- technically and keeping administration in mind, earlier changes and reconstituting were made as Bengaluru Rural district and Bengaluru Urban district, and later a part of it was made Ramanagara district," he said.

Ramanagara district will remain as it is with Ramanagara as headquarters, but the district will be renamed as Bengaluru South, Shivakumar, also state Congress chief, said.

"Whole world is looking at Bengaluru," he said. "We wanted to retain our district's original name, so leaders from the district held discussions and gave a representation to the Chief Minister under my leadership to rename it as Bengaluru South district. It will help Ramanagara, Channapatna, Kanakapura, Magadi in terms of development, industries, property value." Responding to a question on reports regarding the possibility of a second airport for the city coming up either at Ramanagara or Tumakuru, he said: "for that, a technical report has to come. We will have to make it ready by 2032. Infrastructure Development Minister M B Patil is looking into the proposals, surveys are on...." Noting that earlier Doddaballapura, Nelamangala, Yelahanka, Devanahalli, Anekal, Bengaluru South, Bengaluru East, Hoskote, Ramanagara, Magadi, Kanakapura and Channapatna taluks were part of Bengaluru district, the memorandum said, in 1986 a new Bengaluru Rural district was announced consisting of Doddaballapura, Nelamangala Devanahalli, Hoskote, Channapatana, Ramanagara, Magadi and Kanakapura.

In 2007, keeping Doddaballapura as the centre, Bengaluru Rural district was reconstituted consisting of Hosakote, Nelamangala, Devanahalli; and a separate Ramanagara district was formed consisting of Magadi, Kanakapura, Channapatna and Ramanagara, with Ramanagara as the headquarters. PTI KSU RS RS