Formation of Vijayanagara district by bifurcating Ballari district leads to demands for carving out new districts in other parts of Karnataka

Published : February 11, 2021 21:26 IST

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa. Photo: The Hindu Archives

The government of Karnataka notified the formation of a new district called Vijayanagara, bifurcating the district of Ballari in the State on February 8. The new district, which will be the 31st district in the State, takes its name from the medieval kingdom of Vijayanagara that was ruled from Hampi (in Hosapete taluk). The new district will have six taluks while the parent district of Ballari will be left with five taluks after the reorganisation.

According to reliable sources, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa went ahead with this decision in an effort to appease Anand Singh, Minister of Infrastructure Development and an influential legislator representing Vijayanagara in the Assembly, in spite of strong opposition from several quarters, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA G. Somashekara Reddy, one of the powerful Reddy brothers whose base is in Ballari district. Anand Singh was one of the MLAs who switched to the BJP in 2019, leading to the collapse of the Indian National Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government in Karnataka. Opposition members had also objected to the bifurcation on the grounds that it could lead to the polarisation of Telugu and Kannada-speaking people of the erstwhile Ballari district.

The formation of Vijayanagara district has led to renewed demands from different parts of the State for new districts. Administrative efficiency and the significant distance from the district headquarters are being cited as reasons for the clamour for carving up new districts. These include the long-standing demand to trifurcate Belagavi, currently the largest district in the State, into three parts and carve out two new districts of Chikkodi and Gokak. The demand to carve out the districts of Sirsi and Puttur from Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada has also received a fillip after the formation of Vijayanagara.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor