Karnataka elections 2018: How state’s first Congress CM K C Reddy’s family is battling to revive legacy

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New Delhi | Updated: April 11, 2018 2:03:15 PM

Karnataka Assembly election 2018: Holding firmly on to a slice of history, the granddaughter-in-law of undivided Karnataka's first chief minister. K C Reddy, has been camping in the national capital, hoping to fight an election for an Assembly seat in the state.

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Karnataka Assembly election 2018: Holding firmly on to a slice of history, the granddaughter-in-law of undivided Karnataka’s first chief minister. K C Reddy, has been camping in the national capital, hoping to fight an election for an Assembly seat in the state. For the last two days, Vasantha Kavitha Shrikar K C Reddy has been waiting anxiously outside the Congress party’s electoral war room at 15 Gurudwara Rakabganj Road, where its screening committee is finalising the candidates for the May 12 polls. K C Reddy, the first chief minister of what was then Mysore State, was also a member of the Constituent Assembly of India.

Vasantha, whose husband is a businessman, is the first member of the family after the late chief minister to enter politics. “He (Reddy) did not encourage the family to join politics. But I felt the need to spread his legacy and work for people like him,” the 40-year-old Congress member said. The first list of candidates is expected to be announced by April 13 after it has been vetted by the party’s Central Election Committee. Vasantha, who left her lecturer’s job in Bengaluru four years ago to enter the world of politics, is seeking a ticket from the Devar Hippargi Assembly constituency, 27km from Karnataka’s Vijayapura district.

When she joined politics, she said she found few knew about Reddy. “I was shocked to learn that none of the governments had done anything to keep alive his relevance. I joined politics to revive the forgotten legacy,” she told PTI. Reddy was not only the first CM of the state, ruling from 1947 to 1952 and governor of Madhya Pradesh, but also the founder of the Vidhana Soudha, the state legislative Assembly, she said.

Reddy had conceived the blueprint of Vidhana Soudha and persuaded then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to lay its foundation stone on July 13, 1951. The absence of Reddy’s name on the structure’s foundation stone reflects his humility, she noted. Last year, a statue of Reddy was finally put up in the Vidhana Soudha premises after “much persistence”, she said.

The mission of the mother of two children is to create awareness about Reddy in the state and set up a library in his home-town Kyasambahalli near the Kolar Gold Fields. Reddy, who was twice made president of the Mysore Congress and was also a minister at the Centre, died in 1976. “I want to revive his legacy,” Vassantha said.

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