Mysore/Mysuru: Pourabandhu, the book on the life of former Mayor Narayan, was released at a function organised jointly by University of Mysore’s N. Rachaiah Study Chair, Political Science Study Chair and Federation of Karnataka State Pourakarmika Associations at Senate Bhavan in Manasagangothri campus here yesterday.
The book was released by former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition Siddharamaiah, along with former MP and KPCC Working President R. Dhruvanarayan and University of Mysore (UoM) Vice-Chancellor Prof. G. Hemantha Kumar in the presence of MLA L. Nagendra, senior journalist K. Shivakumar, N. Rachaiah Study Chair visiting Professor H.B. Mallikarjuna, HoD of Political Science Prof. Muzaffar Azadi and others.
Speaking on the occasion, Siddharamaiah said that he got to know Narayan, when he (Narayan) was staging a protest in favour of Pourakarmikas near the Taluk Office when he (Siddharamaiah) was the President of Taluk Board. “He later stood for MCC election and won. There was no reservation for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor then. It was the Congress Government that brought reservation and Narayan was elected as the Mayor,” he added.
Pointing out that Narayan was not a selfish person, Siddharamaiah said that though Narayan was in Congress, he fought against the Congress Government to abolish the contract system of Pourakarmikas and added that though Nayaran was a Pourakarmika, he entered politics and grew but did not forget his early life.
Siddharamaiah said that it was because of the relentless fight by Narayan, the wages of Pourakarmikas was increased from Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 17,000 and added that if Congress comes to power again in the State, the jobs of 1.20 lakh Pourakarmikas will be regularised.
Former Mayor Narayan, who too spoke said that he never fought for anything for personal gain. “From a Pourakarmika, I went on to become a Mayor. I do not want any power or authority, but I will continue to fight for the regularisation of jobs of Pourakarmikas,” he added.
Pointing out that a few people were tagging Siddharamaiah as anti-dalit as they do not know the contributions of the former CM for the welfare of dalits, Narayan said that no one can bring out the schemes brought out by Siddharamaiah for the dailt community.
MLA L. Nagendra said that he was first elected as the Corporator in 1996 and Narayan too was elected then. When Narayan became the Mayor, MLA Nagendra had given him his cell phone. “From then on, we never looked at each other on the basis of caste. Though I am in the BJP, I had voted for Narayan in the Mayor election. I will speak with the Chief Minister for regularisation of 218 Pourakarmikas,” Nagendra added.
Senior journalist K. Shivakumar, who too spoke said that dalit community leaders, forget their community and the people when they get power and money. These leaders forget the problems faced by their community people when they get bungalows and cars, Shivakumar said and added that Narayan despite becoming a Mayor, never forgot Pourakarmikas and was still fighting for their welfare.
Former Mayor Narayan and his wife Jayamma Narayan were felicitated on the occasion.
Former MLA M.K. Somashekar, former Mayors Arif Hussain, Ayub Khan and Ananthu, former Corporator M. Shivanna, KPCC Spokesperson H.A. Venkatesh, retired IAS Officer A.B. Ibrahim, book authors Gajendra and Dr. Harish Kumar, MCC Permanent and Contract Pourakarmika Mahasangha President N. Mohankumar, Working President Durganna, Vice-President Rajiv, High Committee President N. Mara, Secretary T. Srinivas, General Secretary C.R. Rachaiah, Associate Secretary N. Arunkumar, Joint Secretary Shankarappa and others were present.