Kodagu First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Kodagu, Coorgs and the People of Kodagu – here at Home and Overseas
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    The Karnataka government has earmarked a sum of Rs 20 crore to facilitate the implementation of a debt relief package for coffee growers (CDRP), and will work closely with the Centre and the Coffee Board of India.

    At the inaugural session of the India International Coffee Festival’s 2014 essay, the southern state’s chief minister Siddaramaiah said that the Centre implemented CDRP 2010 through the coffee board to help the indebted coffee growers.

    “As a part of the coffee debt relief package, the state government extended financial assistance to the coffee growers with regard to the loans that were offered by the cooperative banks,” he stated.

    “Further, on the commerce ministry’s request, the state government waived off the interest and penalty dues payable by the coffee board, which amounted to Rs 230.47 crore,” Siddaramaiah added.

    “India is an important player in the global coffee market. Presently, it is the sixth-largest producer and the fifth-largest exporter of coffee in the world. Karnataka occupies a prime position in India’s coffee production. The area under coffee cultivation is 55%, and it contributes to 72% of the national production,” he informed.

    Siddaramaiah said the state government’s focus was on ensuring the well-being of the coffee growers. “There is a serious impact of the climate change on coffee cultivation and addressing this issue is a daunting task,” he stated.

    “Going by the change in the rainfall pattern in the recent years, the issue is going to assume a still greater importance in the coming years. During the current period itself, the state has seen an unpredictable and erratic monsoon,” the chief minister added.

    “At the coffee blossom stage, the crop production was exected to be high, but it was low owing to the hot and harsh climate, which lasted two months and was followed by incessant rainfall,” he said.

    “In order to mitigate the crisis, the government’s rainfall insurance scheme for coffee growers a few years ago has seen us bear 25% of the premium on behalf of the small growers,” Siddaramaiah added.

    “The support from our end has been over and above the Centre’s share of 50%. The growers must realise the risk of climate change and subscribe to the protection against the vagaries of rainfall,” he said.

    “There is also the issue of pollution control. Coffee pulping activity has been categorised as red by Karnataka’s norms and orange category by the Central Pollution Control Board. All efforts have made to address these issues,” the chief minister added.

    source: http://www.fnbnews.com / FnBnews.com / Home> Wide View> Top News / by Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru / Thursday – January 30th, 2014

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    February 26th, 2014adminCoffee News
    ndia effect On Thursday, prices of key grades of coffee were up by ₹30-40 a kg,almost 20 per cent over the previous week.

    India effect On Thursday, prices of key grades of coffee were up by ₹30-40 a kg,almost 20 per cent over the previous week.

    Dry weather sets off price rally; global rates increase 45% in a month

    New Delhi :

    Your cup of coffee is set to cost more, courtesy, the drought in Brazil.

    Reports of severe dry weather impacting this year’s Brazilian crop have sparked a sharp rally in coffee prices over the past few days and domestic raw coffee prices have moved up in tandem. Global prices — mainly of the Arabica variety — have risen by 45 per cent in the last one month.As a result, small and mid-sized domestic roasters, who sell roast and ground filter coffee powder, are thinking of passing on the burden to consumers by increasing prices. This is because of export demand for Arabicas driving up farm-gate prices. India exports two-thirds of nearly three lakh tonnes of coffee it produces every year.At the weekly auction on Thursday, prices of key grades of raw coffee were up by ₹30-40 a kg, an increase of almost 20 per cent over the previous week.

    No option
    “Roasters have to increase prices by 20-30 per cent, else quality will take a hit,” said BS Suryaprakash, CEO of Coorg Coffee Supplies, a Bangalore-based roaster and exporter.“It’s a tricky situation. If we increase the price, there is a chance of losing customers. If we don’t, we’ll have to incur losses as the rise in raw coffee prices has been pretty steep,” he said. Coorg Coffee, which retails powder and speciality blends under the same brand, has already effected a price hike of 20 per cent, he added.A little over a third of the 300,000 tonnes of coffee produced in India is consumed domestically. The annual growth in consumption is around six per cent, with coffee drinking becoming fashionable among the younger generation through the spread of the café culture.“This price rise is unprecedented. If the market stays at the current level, we don’t have any option but to increase prices. We will take a call on revising the prices over the next couple of days,” said Shrikant Rao, Director at Bayar’s Coffee.

    Watching developments

    However, large companies such as Tata Coffee are cautious in reacting to the price rally. “The market has gone up in the past four days. We have to study the market before taking a call on prices,” said Hameed Huq, MD of Tata Coffee Ltd, the country’s largest coffee grower.Moreover, the lower-than-expected crop size back home is seen supporting prices. The Coffee Board has lowered its estimates by about 10 per cent, pegging the current crop size at 3.1 lakh tonnes as untimely rains in Karnataka, the main producing state, has shrunk the crop. However, growers harvesting their produce said the crop is much lower than the Coffee Board’s estimates.source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com / Business Line / Home> Markets> Commodities / by Vishwanath Kulkarni / New Delhi – February 21st, 2014

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    Harshika Poonacha turned paparazzi when she met her childhood idol, Anant Nag, in Hubli recently. She had always yearned to meet the yesteryear hearthrob.

    Harshika got her moment under the sun during the state film awards ceremony. When the awardees were invited on stage she found herself standing next to Nag. It was definitely an ‘aha’ moment for the leggy lass.

    It then got better:

    The ever-charming Anant complimented Harshika on her dress (now here’s a man who knows how to treat a lady) and the fact that she was a qualified engineer.

    Unfortunately, she couldn’t capture the moment for posterity. But not one to give up, she cornered Nag at breakfast the next day and got a photo clicked, which she promptly shared with all friends. Nice!

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Entertainment> Kannada> Movies / TNN / February 13th, 2014

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    February 26th, 2014adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    The ‘padayatra’, being taken out by tribal activists, living inside forests, from North Karnataka region, arrived in the town, on Thursday.

    Leaders and members of various tribal organisations in the district received the activists.The ‘padayatra’, named ‘Budakattu Samudhayagala Ulivigagi Namma Nade’ (walk for the survival of tribal communities), has been organised by Karnataka Aranyamula Budakattugala Okkuta.
    The activists, singing revolutionary songs in support of their demands, entered the town from Hassan district. They started the jatha from the APMC community hall in the town, and proceeded towards Guddehosuru, via Inspection Bungalow and Madikeri road.

    The demands include, issue of community and individual title deeds as per the Forests Rights Act, 2006; withdrawal of plans to relocate tribal people living inside forests; formulation of an employment policy for the youth, suitable for tribal families; etc.

    District convenor of the Okkuta Kalinga said, the State government was conspiring to dislocate tribal people from their original habitat, under the guise of rehabilitation.

    District Soliga Sangha president Sannappa, convenor of Budakattu Sangha J R Indira, convenor of Yarava Sangha P A Mani, president of Budakattu Mahila Sangha P A Muthamma and convenor of the Okkuta Pushpa were present on the occasion.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District> Kushalnagar – Kodagu District / DHNS – February 13th, 2014

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    Four structures will be built at Dubare camp to accommodate eight jumbos.

    Even as the forest department officials are preparing an action plan to capture 23 wild elephants that have turned out to be trouble makers in Kodagu-Hassan border area, preparations are made simultaneously for constructing kraal to tame elephants, at Dubare in Kodagu.

    Dubare, surrounded by Cauvery river is well known for the elephant camp. Expert mahouts and kavadis tame and look after the elephants using the best of their abilities. As the land is surrounded by river, it is best suited for taming elephants.

    The forest department has now planned to bring majority of the elephants that are captured in Kodagu-Hassan border areas, to Dubare for taming. Meanwhile, work on construction of kraal for taming elephants at Ranigate and Mathugodu camps are under progress and the department has plans to construct kraals at Bandipur in Mysore district and Sakrebail camp at Shimoga, said sources in the forest department.

    Speaking to Deccan Herald mahout Dobi said that kraals are built using the tamed elephants in the camp. Wooden logs of eucalyptus available in Dubare forest are used in building the strong kraals, he said.

    On the space availability at kraal, he said one kraal can accommodate two elephants, and the department has plans to construct four kraals in Dubare, enabling taming of eight elephants at a time. With expert mahouts and kavadis, a wild elephant can be tamed within four months.

    Kodagu Circle Chief Conservator of Forest Brijesh Kumar Dixith said that people are largely facing problem from wild elephants at Shanivarasanthe in the border area of Kodagu district and Alur of Hassan district. The elephants which have at present taken shelter at Alur, might have created rampant in Shanivarasanthe. Therefore, officers from Kodagu circle too have been deployed in the operation to capture elephants, he said.

    Speaking about the nature of elephants, he said elephants are emotional in nature. They share a strong bond between female, male and calves. They pass on the message to other elephants whenever they face danger. “As elephantas move in herds, there are all possibilities of one herd of elephants passing the message to other herds when they sense danger of humanbeings effort to catch them.

    The department is studying all the possibilities and is planning to attack all the herds at a time in order to capture them. We are waiting for a right opportunity,” he said.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / by Srikanth Kallammanavar, Madikeri / DHNS – February 17th, 2014

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    It wil have puzzle garden, artificial caves, flowery clock, says DC Anurag Tiwari.

    The Kodagu district administration has prepared a proposal of Rs 11.87 crore and submitted it to the State government, to beautify and develop Raja seat, a popular tourist destination in the city.

    If the proposal receives the green signal from the government, then Raja Seat will perhaps become one of the most attractive gardens in the country. A large number of tourists visit Raja Seat to view the panoramic Western Ghat range and an enchanting sun set. But, the garden has been has been completely neglected, and stands as an eye sore. The musical fountain in the garden too is defunct. As a result, the number of visitors visiting Raja Seat has declined over a period of time.

    Taking a note of this, the district administration has prepared a proposal to develop the garden. Maintenance of the garden will be handed over to the Horticulture department.

    Speaking to Deccan Herald, Kodagu Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tiwari said that it has been planned to build a watch tower in the garden at a cost of Rs 1.12 crore. The proposed plan comprises of the construction of puzzle garden at a cost of Rs one crore, flowery clock, garden in Japan style, artificial caves, formation of waterfalls, glass house on the lines of the one in Lalbagh in Bangalore, snake ladder game at a cost of Rs four crore, construction of rope-way from Nehru Park to Raja Seat at a cost of Rs three crore, Bayalu Ranga Mandira at a cost of Rs 1.20 crore, and a tunnel aquarium.

    A comfortable footpath, ponds, solar lights, garden lights, statues will be laid in the garden, if the government okays the proposal. With tourism being one of the major source of income in Kodagu after coffee business, measures will be taken to improve and explore tourism potential in the district, the DC said.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / by Srikanth Kallammanavar, Madikeri / DHNS – February 06th, 2014

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    February 24th, 2014adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    A rough guide to Madikeri’s best (and humblest) tables

    Coorg. Green hills, high skies, breathtaking treks, river-rafting, elephant-spotting and coffee plantation walks — at the end of the day, you’re ravenous. Where do you go to stuff yourself silly?

    Although Coorg boasts of several restaurants at luxurious hotels — including the newest Taj Vivanta and The Tamara, a beautiful coffee estate-turned-resort — the real food experience can be had much more cheaply, and perhaps, more convincingly, if one looks for nourishment in the humbler messes and canteens of Madikeri, the old capital of the former kingdom of Coorg. It’s worth remembering that Coorg is situated at the crossroads of some of the world’s finest cuisines. While you’re never too far from the culinary delights of the south Indian pure vegetarian cooking (there are thali-only eateries aplenty), you’re also a stone’s throw away from Kerala (Mappila cooking) and of course, Mangalore (seafood), not to mention the (relatively) recent Tibetan element. Then there’s the local Kodava cuisine, the soul food of the Kodagu district.

    The place to sample all of this is Madikeri, the old royal capital that used to be called Mercara. It has a fort, splendid temples and old churches, the rajas’ majestic tombs, plus a delightful traditional Friday bazaar and old-style bungalows to admire (some of which take in guests). Being a tourist destination, it also has something of a restaurant scene.

    Traditional cuisine is best eaten at people’s homes, and you would get to taste it if you book yourself into a homestay, such as Gowri Nivas, an old Kodava house a short walk from the Fort in Madikeri. The pleasures of home-cooking include some rather unusual vegetable dishes (such as tender bamboo shoots) and the emblematic pandi curry, cubes of pork coated in a peppery masala flavoured with the local dark vinegar, kachampuli.

    Another way to get a hearty Coorg meal is to head to Folksy Food (shut on Sundays), a three-table eatery tucked away on the first floor of a building on Temple Road — you spot it down the slope, roughly opposite Town Hall. Folksy is run as a labour of food-love by the gentle Mr Lipton (who doesn’t seem to have a first name), who’ll serve you the daily vegetarian rice meal and your choice of four non-veg add-ons: pork, chicken, mutton or fish. Akki roti — a thin pancake made of rice flour — is on offer only for dinner. Everything is prepared in the local style by Lipton’s wife Leelavati. Although the menu is limited (in fact, there’s no printed menu), a superb meal for two would set you back by a mere ₹300. Coorg Cuisine opposite the Head Post Office, on the upper floor of a blue-painted building, also has a wide range of à la carte dishes, including bamboo shoot or baimbale barthadh.

    Among restaurants that steer clear of pork, East End Hotel, perched on the edge of the Brahmin’s Valley, has the most popular tables (no rooms here; but you can check into the adjacent colonial-style bungalow, Daisy Bank Heritage Inn, on Thimmaiah Road). This is a carnivore’s paradise: mutton balls, hearty biryani and a unique Coorg-style chicken fry. Late afternoons and evenings are best spent here, watching dusk creeping in over a keema or egg dosa accompanied by mutton cutlets.

    Madikeri has a significant Mappila and Beary population. Rasheed, a local friend of mine, took me to a no-name place on the hillside at the northern edge of town known as New Canteen, where a joint-family of Beary Muslims serve lunch and dinner at their home to labourers and autorickshaw drivers. You eat in the family’s living room at their own dining table, and the entertainment consists of chatting with the many kids who sit around doing homework — the younger generation is a well-educated lot and some children speak very good English. The tasty ₹50 meal consists of rice, mackerel curry, fried sardines and a vegetable dish. We also made an advance order for dinner one day and got mouth-watering mutton chukka, nool puttu (steamed rice noodles) and chicken stew. To find the place, you’ll have to walk uphill from the Rajas’ Tombs and ask around; it’s near the turning towards Abby Falls, and definitely worth the trouble.

    The more centrally located New Paris is in an old building in bustling College Road. The kindly proprietor is happy to see new customers and your table will soon be filled with mutton chukka, fish curry, chicken fry, biryani and Kerala or Ceylon parathas at wallet-friendly rates. Outside the busy lunch hours, this is also a good place to drop by for a hearty afternoon snack, such as the juicy mutton puffs (called pups) or delicious Kerala banana roast.

    If it’s Mangalorean you crave, pull up a chair at the full-fledged seafood canteen, Samudra, above the government bus terminal — the prawn curry here is superb. Around town, lots of other smaller joints toss up tasty mackerel fry, such as Greenland near the Tollgate bus stop. Another joint that specialises in seafood is the Fishland restaurant in one of the lanes opposite the Fort.

    Despite a major Tibetan settlement in the foothills at Bylakuppe, where you can visit a grand monastery and sample authentic Tibetan dishes, there are very few kitchens in Madikeri that serve steaming momos. Momos do make an appearance, however, on the menu at Coorg Biryani Center on the College Road, a fast food restaurant that also experiments with ‘exotic’ fare like burgers, shawarma and kathi rolls.

    Like all hill stations, Madikeri has fine bakeries for a quick bite and one of the local specialties is chicken roll — an oven-baked roll stuffed with a spicy chicken mixture. Try India Bake House in Mahadevpet opposite the Market Building or Cauvery Bakes-n-Drinks at College Road. The former also makes a local-style pizza topped with chicken and salad, while Cauvery peddles paneer rolls. Come Friday the market is bustling with people, and in certain seasons you can pick up fresh bamboo shoot and wild mushrooms.

    For European-style coffee, cakes, and bakes such as quiches, head to Pause: The Unwind Café (shut on Tuesday) in the Kodava Samaj Building, opposite the Fort. It also serves a light chicken curry with appams. The expresso (sic) — rather more like an americano — comes with bone-rattling levels of caffeine; it’s best tamed by a coffee and walnut mousse. Another coffee shop, Beans-n-Brew, is located in the charming old bungalow called Raintree in a lane behind the Town Hall, next-door to Power House. It also has a multi-cuisine restaurant, which does possibly the best tandoori chicken in town, plus local specialities and Mangalorean seafood items; no pork though.

    The cafés of Madikeri mostly serve the normal darshini milk coffee but with less chicory than elsewhere — here you can expect about 20 per cent dilution as against the national average of 30 to 50 per cent chicory, so you may feel a whole lot perkier after a cup. Of course, if you buy fresh coffee powder directly from a mill, you can request them to not add any chicory and get the most amazing coffee experience you’ve ever had in your life.

    Lots of shops around the Main Road are geared towards tourists and sell fresh spices, pickles, coffee powder, locally made wines (try the unusual coffee wine and rice wine here) and homemade juices. For sweets and savouries and high-quality natural honey, go to Komal Stores opposite the Fort. Do also look on their shelves for fresh chikkalunde, sweety-savoury soft balls of rice flour. A good place to hunt for pickles, including a mean pork pickle, is Numbikay on the road leading up to Raja’s Seat, where they also stock clothes, books on Coorg and souvenirs.

    Coffee mills are found all over town, but for fine coffees and coffee paraphernalia head to Mercara Gold, located right at the central chowk, at the corner of Mahadevpet and College Road. They have their own coffee estate. They also sell spices, and you can even pick up a bottle of kachampuli. Later this year, they plan to open a small café-cum-eatery.

    So, if you’re hungry, thirsty or both, come uphill to Coorg.

    (The writer is a Bangalore-based crime fiction author, who writes in English and Swedish. Mr Majestic is his latest novel)

    Food Log

    Where to eat

    ● Coorg Cuisine on the Main Road, opposite Head Post Office; 9449699864

    ● East End Hotel, General Thimmaiah Road; 08272-225749

    ● Hotel New Paris, College Road; 08272-225222

    ● Samudra, above the government bus terminal; 08272-220216

    ● Greenland, near the Tollgate bus stop; 08272-224820

    ● Coorg Biryani Center, College Road

    ● India Bake House, Mahadevpet; 08242-220137

    ● Cauvery Bakes-n-Drinks, College Road; 09880400308

    ● Pause: The Unwind Café (shut on Tuesday), Kodava Samaj Building, opposite Fort; 0934376006

    ● Beans-n-Brew, Raintree bungalow, behind Town Hall, next to Power House; 9677129651


    ● Komal Stores, opposite Fort, 08272-228890

    ● Numbikay, towards Raja’s Seat

    ● Mercara Gold, Central Chowk, at the corner of Mahadevpet and College Road; 9341380456

    source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com / Business Line / Home> Features / by Zac O’Yeah / February 14th, 2014

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    Goal would earn Wizards a couple of points as well but it left coach Roelant Oltmans with some areas to think about as well.

    On the face of it Delhi Waveriders have had a decent outing. Their 1-1 draw with the UP Wizards on Wednesday maintained their impressive home record — they have been unbeaten for the seventh time in nine games played at the Dhyanchand Stadium — and the two points they earned from the result took them to the top of the HIL league on 19 points.

    However Delhi skipper Sardar Singh wasn’t a particularly happy individual at the end of the game. “This was a game that we should have won,” he said. Delhi had taken the early lead through Yuvraj Walmiki and dominated early play and even though UP had surged in the second half of the match, had held on until the equaliser by SK Uthappa with eight minutes to go.

    Sardar’s reaction was more disappointment than a fair assessment of the game. Both teams had their chances although Wizards had the more clear cut opportunities.

    So far in the HIL, Waveriders have shown an inclination to attack constantly from the first whistle but they chose a more cautious approach in Wednesday’s encounter. “We knew that Wizards would be patient and would keep the ball with them and so we tried to show patience ourselves,” said Sardar after the game.

    While Waveriders had better possession in the midfield, there were few circle penetrations and no shots on target as Wizards’ keeper George Bazely wasn’t called into play once.

    Yuvraj Walmiki would go on to have an average game but he would put Waveriders on the scoreboard. The hard work was done by Simon Child on the right flank as he broke past a couple of defenders then passed to Walmiki who had been left unmarked in the front of the goal. Wizards had an opportunity to equalise soon after through a PC.

    However the fact that their regular drag flicker VR Raghunath was sitting in the timeout zone after earning a green card meant that Luke Doerner took the flick. Doerner tried for a variation but ended up holding on to the ball for too long and gave it away.

    Wizards and Raghunath had the chance to make amends in the third quarter through another PC in the 47th minute but Waveriders keeper Stockmann got a sliver of leg to deflect the ball to safety. As time ticked by, Waveriders slowly reverted to all out defence and were helped by the fact that Wizards’ forwards weren’t able to finish their moves. Their midfield built around Sardar Singh was expected to dominate but failed to exert itself.

    NEEDED: BETTER MAN MARKING“We could have been better was in our man to man marking in the midfield,” said Sardar who was seen constantly exhorting his line to stay with the opposition players assigned to them. The mistakes eventually caught up and in the 62nd minute Wizards’ midfielder SK Uthappa got a ball which had been stolen from inside the Waveriders half line. To his credit, Uthappa, at the top of the circle turned and blitzed a forehand stroke into the board.The goal would earn Wizards a couple of points as well but it left coach Roelant Oltmans with some areas to think about as well.“Uthappa had a good game, but that is expected because he is one of India’s better midfielders. He has scored in this game as well as the last game but while that is good for the team, we need our strikers to be scoring goals for us as well,” he said.

    source: http://www.indianexpress.com / The Indian Express / Home> Sports> Hockey / by Jonathan Selvaraj / New Delhi – February 06th, 2014

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    Gulshan Devaiah, who was last seen in Sanjay LeelaBhansali’s ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’ flagged off the’ iRUN for Indian Hockey’ at the Hiranandani Thane Half Marathon yesterday. The theme of the run is to spread the message of promoting Indian hockey.

    Gulshan was very ecstatic to flag off the race and to witness the energy on the ground. Talking about the event Gulshan says, “I was very excited to flag off the race, especially as it was promoting hockey. “Hockey has always had a special place in my heart since childhood. In fact the very first toy I got from my parents was a hockey stick. I even played a bit of hockey in my school days.”

    The actor has a great road ahead with 3 movies in his bag. Gulshan will be seen in new avatar in Phantom’s next Hunter. He has also signed a two movie deal with Pooja Bhatt.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Entertainment> Hindi> Bollywood / by Renuka Vyavahare, TNN / February 18th, 2014

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    Actress-turned-politician Ramya has been splitting her time between her constituency Mandya and the Centre in Delhi, ever since she was elected to the Parliament. Also in focus, right now, is the party’s youth icon — Rahul Gandhi — who has made quite a few visits to Karnataka lately. Well, according to Ramya, the young leader’s focus is indeed on the state.

    In fact, when Rahul came to Karnataka last weekend, he visited Ramya’s constituency, Mandya. “It was great when he visited. We were travelling on the left side of the road and he wanted to know what the logic in blocking even the right side of the road was. In fact, all the way from Tumkur to Mandya, we took the outer road to avoid stalling any traffic whatsoever. I was impressed, as he actually practises what he preaches,” says Ramya.

    As a result of his many visits to the state, there was a clamour last month that Rahul would contest the Lok Sabha polls from Karnataka. Although Ramya dismissed this as a rumour, she said, “I would be really happy if he were to contest from Mandya, but it’s just a rumour. He has done extremely good work in Amethi and I would like to go there, see the things he has done and maybe implement a similar model here,” says Ramya.

    Politics apart, Rahul apparently took some time off to experience the best that the state has to offer. Says Ramya, “He loves masala dosa and really likes Coorg (a destination we guess he must have gone to on one of his many visits to the state).”

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> Entertainment> Kannada> Movies / by TNN / February 21st, 2014

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