An alleged love affair between Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna and renowned actress B Saroja Devi in their younger days may thwart the former Karnataka's Chief Minister's plans to return to active politics. The affair, mentioned in the book Halli Hakkiya Haadu (The song of a village bird) written by former minister of Education, H Vishwanath has created ripples in the political and cinema field.
The book's abridged content, disclosed by a private satellite channel on 28 January 2008, gave enough time for S M Krishna supporters to throng the book release function at Mysore and obstruct the whole function. The book release function was organised at Manasa Gangotri by Rani Bahaddur organisation. Warned of the stir his book was creating, Vishwanath did not turn up at the venue.
What is the objectionable content that has created such a hue and cry? In the book, former minister H Vishwanath who was a minister during S M Krishna's Chief Ministership between 1999-2004 says Krishna proposed to field famous actress B Saroja Devi as the Congress candidate from the Mandya Lok Sabha seat -- the home ground of S M Krishna. During a conversation with H Vishwanath, Krishna is reported to have said: "We should not forget our past numbers (referring to girlfriends in cine world). It was after this that Krishna suggested Saroja Devi's name as a Congress candidate from Mandya. Krishna had been in touch with the actress for several years, the book adds.
Gnanapeeth award winning writer Dr U R Ananthamurthy was mobbed at the book release function and it took some time for police to control the situation. Hundreds of fans reached the venue and protested strongly against the book. They also successfully stopped the release of book. A quarrel ensued between supporters of Vishwanath and S M Krishna. They threw pots and chairs at each other, resulting in commotion and a lathi charge by the police.
In the same book, there are remarks on scion Srikanta Datta Odeyar, D K Shivakumar, Sirigere Math Swamiji, Adhichunchanagiri Swamiji, Professor K Ramdas, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, M P Prakash, Siddaramaiah and others. However, Vishwanath says: "I have written this book on the human relationships. I have no other intentions. There is no other ulterior motive behind it."
Stories of link-ups between between film personalities and politicians have done the rounds in Karnataka for many years now.