Vijayanagara becomes Karnataka's 31st district

Vijayanagara, located in Hyderabad-Karnataka region, will be home to UNESCO World Heritage sites Hampi and Virupaksha Temple.

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Vijayanagara has officially become Karnataka's 31st district with Hosapete as its headquarters. This was notified by Karnataka Government through an official notification on February 8, 2021. 

Vijayanagara, named after the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, has been carved out of the ore-rich Ballari district under the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964.

The district will have six taluks including Hosapete, Kudligi, Hagaribommanahalli, Kotturu, Hoovina Hadagali and Harapanahalli.

Vijayanagara, located in Hyderabad-Karnataka region, will be home to UNESCO World Heritage sites Hampi and Virupaksha Temple.

Why was Vijayanagara created?

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had officially put forward the plan to create a new Vijayanagara district in September 2019. 

Yediyurappa had stated that it was necessary to create a new district citing administrative reasons.

He had said that some parts of the Ballari district were about 200km from the present headquarters.

He had also said that carving out a separate district will help promote tourism to places such as Hampi and overall development of the six taluks, as Ballari district is spread over a large region.

Later on November 18, 2020, the Karnataka Cabinet formally approved the formation of the Vijayanagara district. 

Political opposition

The Yediyurappa government's plan to create a separate Vijayanagara district faced opposition from within the ruling BJP.

Undivided Ballari district was considered to be politically significant, as it comprised nine Assembly constituencies of which the Congress represents five and the BJP four.

The Opposition party Congress also strongly opposed the bifurcation of Ballari district claiming that it could lead to a linguistic dispute between Telugu speaking and Kannada speaking people in the district.

How is Legislator Anand Singh involved in this?

As per reports, State Minister for Infrastructure Development, Haj and Wakf, Anand Singh, district in-charge of Ballari, had anchored the efforts for the creation of the new district.

The Karnataka Cabinet had reportedly approved the formation of Vijayanagara following pressure from Singh, who had quit the Congress in 2019 and became a minister in the BJP government after winning the by-poll from Hosapete.

Singh had earlier contested on a Congress ticket in 2018 after deserting BJP, after having a feud with the Reddy brothers - G Janardhana Reddy, G Karunakara Reddy and G Somashekara Reddy.

He, however, rejoined the BJP by defecting from Congress within a year and a half in 2019.

Many within the BJP criticised the move saying that the push to create the new district only came after Singh returned to BJP, probably in return for his role in BJP coming to power.

Karnataka CM Yediyurappa had initially mentioned the plan to create the Vijayanagar district during Singh's poll rally in 2019.

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