BENGALURU: The state government had allocated Rs 500 crore for the Vokkaliga Development Board for the welfare of the community, but the Board is yet to set up its own office even after one year. The then CM BS Yediyurappa had allocated the fund to the Board in March 2021. A government order was issued in July 2021 to form the board.
Bengaluru South MLA M Krishnappa was made its chairman, while two members, including BJP MLA Suresh Gowda (Tumkur Rural Assembly seat), were nominated. As per the backward reservation (3A), Vokkaliga, Sarpa Vokkaliga, Hallikar Vokkaliga, Namadhaari Vokkaliga, Gangadkar Vokkaliga, Das Vokkaliga, Reddy Vokkaliga, Marasu Vokkaliga, Gowda, Kunchitiga, Kaapu, Heggade, Kammu, Reddy, Goundar, Uppina Kolaga and others will come under the board. Government sources said it has been a year since the board has been formed, but it still does not have an office or staff.
Krishnappa said they are getting an office space near Unity Building in Bengaluru on rent. “We are planning to inaugurate the office on June 26 which happens to be Kempegowda Jayanti,’’ he said. But the member, Suresh Gowda, is clueless. “I have no information about this inauguration,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Board met only twice in the last one year. With no office to congregate, they used the conference hall at Vikas Soudha for meetings. Gowda said they need a dedicated space to plan and meet. “Where to even sit,” he asked. He hoped to get a full-fledged office with a dedicated staff now that a place will be rented.
The board has received Rs 100 crore of the Rs 500 crore announced, and plans to start Vokkaliga hostels in each district for students from the community. In March this year, ex-minister Krishna Byregowda had alleged the Board has not been registered. Sources said it was registered a couple of weeks ago.