By P.T. Bopanna
Finally, Kodagu (Coorg) district in Karnataka has a credible leader from the Kodava community who has emerged as the ‘tallest’ leader of the Congress in the hill district.
Former additional advocate-general A.S. Ponnanna (in picture), who was sent by the Congress leadership last year to Kodagu to strengthen the party, has been successful in mobilising the party cadres.
Unlike his father, A.K. Subbaiah, a firebrand politician and former MLC, who went out of his way to antagonise Kodavas (Coorgs) by making “irresponsible and provocative” statements, Ponnanna has kept away from such controversies.
Though preoccupied with his legal and party work in Bengaluru, Ponnanna has been visiting the nook and corner of Kodagu and interacting with people.
He has also been engaged in charity work during the pandemic by distributing relief kits through the Ajjikuttira K. Subbaiah-Ponnamma Trust, a trust set up in memory of his parents.
Congress had lacked a credible leader in Kodagu after Biddatanda Pradeep passed away prematurely a few years ago.
The BJP citadel in Kodagu has begun crumbling because of the growing disillusionment of the people with the local MLAs Appachu Ranjan (Madikeri) and K.G. Bopaiah (Virajpet).
Both the MLAs are unpopular with the people and they have been getting re-elected through vote bank politics and the Modi wave.
Though the city-bred Ponnanna has been able to connect with the people in remote parts of Kodagu, he should cut down his visibility on social media as anything done in ‘excess’ to project a personality cult could boomerang.