Bhrungeesh N, the recently retired Director of Department of Information and Public relations of Karnataka, has been appointed as the Media Advisor to the Chief Minister, a government order said on Wednesday. This, after Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa's media advisor Mahadeva Prakash resigned on Sunday making it the second such high profile exit from his close quarters within a month from his media team.
Bhrungeesh had served as media secretary to Yediyurappa in his tenure as CM between 2008-11. He has served under 10 CMs of Karnataka under various roles in the CMO. He has over 30 years of experience in the Information Department. Prior to this, he was the press secretary to two Chief Ministerâ€™s SM. Krishna and N Dharam Singh.
In his letter addressed to Yediyurappa dated November 18, Prakash cited "personal reasons" for his resignation. Prakash, a senior journalist, who was appointed in August 2019 after the BJP government came to power, thanked Yediyurappa for giving him an opportunity to serve as the Chief Minister's media advisor.
According to sources in the CMâ€™s office, the CM and his team was not happy with the Mahadevaâ€™s reactive approach to the CMâ€™s media management. This is the most important reason leading to the change in personnel in the media advisory role.
The issue had come up in the fore during the recent controversy involving alleged illegal gains made by one of CMâ€™s family members through kickbacks from a government contractor . The issue had blown up after Power TV, a private Kannada television channel, ran a series of sting operations allegedly done by an official in the channel on the member of the CM's family. Later one BJP worker C Nagaraja Gowda had obtained a temporary injunction from a Bengaluru court prohibiting reporting on the matter.
In connection with the same incident, Vijayendra, son of CM Yediyurappa had filed a defamation case against three officials from Power TV - Rakesh Shetty, managing director and editor-in-chief; and anchors Chandan Sharma and Rehman.
Recently another veteran journalist MB Maramkal was removed as the chief minister's political advisor. Media reports had cited Maramkal's alleged fallout with Yediyurappa's family members as the reason for his removal.