Amid Ramanagara merger row, JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy threatens hunger strike

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Former CM H D Kumaraswamy addressing a press conference in Bengaluru on Thursday.

BENGALURU: A day after Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar assured the merger of Ramanagara with Bengaluru district, Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday said that he will stage a hunger strike till his last breath if such a move is made.

“D K Shivakumar’s idea behind including Ramanagara in Bengaluru is just to safeguard the properties including DLF which belong to Robert Vadra. I’ll challenge him, I’ll stage a hunger strike till my last breath if the name of Ramanagara is changed or it is included in Bengaluru”, the JD(S) leader said while addressing a press briefing here.

He said, “I’ll ask the people of Ramanagara to support me to fight against such an idea of renaming or including Ramanagara with Bengaluru.”

On Wednesday, DK Shivkumar asserted that he will ensure the merging of Ramanagara with Bengaluru district. While addressing a gathering at Kanakapura, Shivakumar said, “You are not from Ramanagara district. You are from the Bengaluru district. Let that sink in your mind. What did I say? You are from Bengaluru district”.

“We are from Bengaluru. Unnecessarily, they pushed us to Ramanagara district. Don’t listen to others. We belong to Bengaluru, not Ramanagara. Not even Bengaluru Rural- Bengaluru. I will do it”, he added.

A contentious issue surrounding the jurisdiction of Kanakapura has come to the fore due to a heated verbal exchange between former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and D K Shivakumar. The central point of contention is whether Kanakapura should remain part of Ramanagara district or be integrated into the state capital, Bengaluru. Shivakumar’s recent announcement that Kanakapura will be a part of Bengaluru in the future has stirred a row.

Earlier, Kumaraswamy accused Shivakumar of orchestrating a scheme to regularise alleged illegal activities around Kanakapura. He questioned the ownership of properties in the area, the prevalence of benami transactions, and the existence of illegal encroachments. Kumaraswamy vehemently refuted DK Shivakumar’s proposal to separate Kanakapura taluk from Ramanagara district and merge it with Bengaluru.

In his reply, Shivakumar on Wednesday said “I gave an open challenge to H D Kumaraswamy. I was ready to debate with Kumaraswamy. I am also ready to discuss with Kumaraswamy in the Assembly”

The dispute over Kanakapura’s jurisdiction continues, with strong opinions on both sides regarding its potential impact on the region and its residents. Kanakapura, about 55 km from Bengaluru, currently comes under the Ramanagara district that was created in 2007 when Kumaraswamy of the was the chief minister. Before 2007, Kanakapura was under Bengaluru Rural district. (ANI)

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