MANGALORE/UDUPI: It came as a bolt from the blue for many on realising that the BJP strongman from undivided coastal districts, Dr V S Acharya, breathed his last.
Dr Vedavyas Srinivas Acharya, or Dr V S Acharya as he was popularly known, was a staunch right-wing politician from the days of Jan Sangh. Known for his scholastic abilities, Dr Acharya had played an active role in party and later in the government from drafting election manifestos, to preparing state budget.
He was BJP leadership’s trusted lieutenant and represented his government in high profile meetings involving education, health, planning, electricity, finance and foreign affairs at the capital. His close association with former deputy prime minister L K Advani was well encashed by the BJP, state BJP government, Udupi CMC and also by Udupi district.
During his tenure as Udupi TMC president, municipality moved into its own administrative building. It was during his time the Town Planning Authority was set up for planned development and underground Drainage System. Above all, Udupi was the first urban body to abolish manual carrying of night soil.
After he was made minister in the BJP government, Udupi received highest grants for developmental works. The widening of Udupi-Kalsanka-Kadiyali and Kadiyali to Manipal, his dream projects, were implemented recently. He also realised another dream of constructing a state-of-the-art District Offices’ Complex at End Point in Manipal. This was inaugurated recently by Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda. It was Dr Acharya who had named it as “Rajathadri”.
Dr Acharya who peppered his presentations with statistics was revered by his peers and senior bureaucrats for his intellectual prowess. Born to Katte Srinivasa Acharya and Krishnaveni Amma in 1939, V S Acharya completed his medical education at KMC, Manipal, in 1959. Barely 28, he became the president of Udupi Town Municipal Council in 1968. He also served as president of Bharathiya Jan Sangh and district BJP from 1974 till 1983.
He served as state BJP vice president, member of party’s national executive committee for about twenty years.
During Emergency, he was imprisoned under ‘MISA’ for 19 months and it was then did Advani and Acharya develop a bonding.
He was elected to the Legislative Council in 1996. He was made minister for medical education and animal husbandry in 2006, home minister in 2008, handled additional charges of Muzrai department, higher education, statistics, planning, information technology and biotechnology.