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Kannada Cultural Centre on way

Chief Minister of the southern Indian state of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa last night vowed to contribute one crore rupees (BD77,000) to Kannada Sangha, Bahrain, to help build a Kannada Cultural Centre. He made the announcement at Kannada Vaibhava, the Sangha's annual cultural festival, at the Diamond Jubilee Hall of Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam in Segaiya.

He attended the function along with a delegation from Karnataka, including Panchayatraj and Rural Development minister Shobha Karandlaje, Medical Education Minister Ramachandra Gowda and Karkala constituency member Gopal Bhandary. Senior diplomats and leading businessmen were present.

Well-known media personalities from Karnataka Mr Satish and his wife Sandhya Pai were the guests of honour and felicitated for their contributions.

Foreign Ministry bilateral relations director Dr Dhafar Al Umran and Indian Ambassador Balkrishna Shetty were special guests.

"I'm overwhelmed by the welcome accorded to us here. I'm happy to be contributing to your dream of building your own premises to uphold the art and culture of your land of birth. The money will be released from our next budget to be unveiled in February 2009," said Mr Yeddyurappa who is the first chief minister from Karnataka to visit Bahrain.

"I will do all that is possible to help you in your future endeavours. Karnataka has become the first state in India to set up an NRI cell to look into your needs and problems. Whatever be the issue, please remember that a brother is present back home to help you."

Mr Yeddyurappa also applauded the contributions by people from Karnataka to Bahrain's development.

A one-hour dance ballet based on the epic Ramayana, directed by choreographer Sahana Bhat, who was specially flown into Bahrain, and enacted by Sangha artists, was the highlight of the function.

Leading TV actor Ravishankar and his singer wife Sangeetha entertained the crowd with the latest numbers from Kannada films.

Sangha president Austin Santhosh thanked Mr Yeddyurappa for attending the function and extending financial support to build the centre.



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