Despite the enforcement of election code of conduct, the Dept. of Kannada and Culture is said to have transferred 12 Rangayana artistes last evening surprising everyone.

The transfer order issued by the Department Commissioner was reportedly received by Rangayana Deputy Director Nirmala Mathapathi at 5.15 pm yesterday. She was said to have immediately summoned the office staff and got the transfer orders of 12 artistes typed, the process going on till about 7.30 pm.

On learning about the developments, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Ramegowda immediately asked Kannada and Culture Assistant Director K.N. Annegowda to rush to Rangayana office and stop the process of transferring artistes.

However, Nirmala was said to have spoken to the DC over phone contending that it was not exactly a transfer but deputation for two years. Nevertheless the DC questioned as to why the change was being effected in a hurry and asked to put off the process.

With no other go, Nirmala suspended the process of transfer and came out of the office along with the staff. Immediately she was reportedly gheraoed by theatrists Muddukrishna, Jayaram Patel and others who sought the reason behind the extended stay of Nirmala and her staff.

Nirmala contended that it was a government order and the 12 artistes have to be relieved of duty. However, the theatrist questioned as to why it was being done in a hurry but Nirmala contended that the decision was actually taken on Mar. 16 but being executed late.

However, she declined to reply when asked as to how such transfers could be effected when election code of conduct was in force and left abruptly.

DC Ramegowda has reiterated that such transfers or deputation would be invalid when election code of conduct was in force and would be stayed.

When SOM contacted Kannada and Culture Commissioner K.R. Ramakrishna for his reaction he said, “The Department has given the order for transfer of the artistes at the instance of Ranga Samaja in Rangayana. In fact Rangayana artistes are not government employees for election code of conduct to apply.”

Meanwhile, Nirmala told SOM that she had just executed the Commissioner’s order which was a decided on Mar. 16.

On a different note Rangayana Director Dr. B.V. Rajaram told SOM that he was the head of Rangayana and the Dy. Director could not transfer the artistes. He questioned, “when the department maintained that Rangayana artistes were not government employees, how can the latter be transferred?”

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore