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Karnataka Opposition leaders unite to build memorial for Dalit leader Jayanna

Leaders of Chitradurga have come forward to build a memorial for M. Jayanna, leader of Dalit Sangharsha Samiti, who passed away recently after a prolonged illness.

Lok Sabha member A. Narayanaswamy of the BJP and former minister H. Anjaneya of the Congress have purchased a private land near Kyadigere in Chitradurga taluk, close to National Highway 48 for this purpose. Chitradurga MLA G.H. Thippareddy of BJP and Challakere MLA T. Raghumurthy of the Congress have also pledged their support to build the memorial.

Jayanna, 72, was known for leading struggles for the rights of downtrodden people. He began with organising municipal workers in 1970s. Under the guidance of Prof. M. Krishnappa, founder of Dalit Sangharsha Samiti, he participated in many struggles across the State. He also worked as state convener of Dalit Sangharsha Samiti. Later he served as president of Neeravari Horata Samiti of Chitradurga that fought for Upper Bhadra Project.

Jayanna had also contested thrice for Legislative Assembly and once for Chitradurga Lok Sabha seat as a candidate of Bahujan Samaj Party. Kanshiram had visited Chitradurga to campaign for him. However, he could not succeed in electoral politics. The State Government felicitated him with Babu Jagjivanram Ram award in 2016.

The mortal remains of Jayanna, with the consent of the family, have been laid to rest at the land purchased by the two leaders at Kyadigere. “We are planning to set up a trust, involving well-wishers of Jayanna, elected representatives and Prasanna, son of Jayanna. The trust will build the memorial, which would include a seminar hall and other amenities”, Anjaneya said.

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