Former minister Tanveer Sait of the Congress has waded through the anti-incumbency wave to record his fifth victory in a row in the Narasimharaja Assembly constituency. The seasoned politician has been MLA for almost half his life as he was elected at an young age.
“The just-concluded election in Narasimharaja constituency has created history as Sait has added five more years to the 41-year-old hold of the father-son duo — Azeez Sait and Tanveer Sait — over the segment since 1967. Even though there is an opinion that hereditary politics is not advisable in a democracy, the people have chosen him due to various reasons,” said Musthaq Ahmad, a businessman from Rajendra Nagar.
Sait’s opponents have remained the same since the last polls with only a change in their position.
In 2013, Abdul Majeed of the SDPI, who was the nearest rival, has been pushed to the third slot, while S Satheesh (Sandesh Swamy) of the BJP, who was in the third place, emerged runner’s-up. In the last elections, Satheesh was in the JD(S).
This time the JD(S) nominee was Abdul Azeez (Abdullah), who had contested against Azeez Sait in 1994 on a Karnataka Congress Party ticket.
The Narasimharaja constituency, earlier known as Mysore North, is deemed to be an undeclared Muslim constituency as leaders from the community have represented it during 12 terms, including a by-election.
The other community MLAs were T Mariappa of the Congress, who won the first election in 1952, B K Puttaiah of Praja Socialist Party, elected in 1962 and E Maruthi Rao Pawar of the BJP, elected in 1994.
Thus, Muslim leaders have represented Narasimharaja for a total of 51 years in 66 years.
The father-son duo had just two breaks — in 1984, when Azeez Sait was elected to the Lok Sabha from Dharwad South and in 1994, when E Maruti Rao Pawar of the BJP won. As Azeez Sait became MP, the late Muktharunisa Begum was elected to the Assembly in 1985. Ever since the 2002 by-election, caused by the death of Azeez Sait, Tanveer Sait has been continuously representing the constituency. His other victories were in 2004, 2008 and 2013.
Afsar Pasha, a senior journalist, said that after dropping out of college, Tanveer Sait was helping his father in politics. “He later joined the JD(S) under the leadership of former chief minister Siddaramaiah. When he was corporator, he missed the mayorship to Arif Husain by a whisker. Before the 1999 polls, he returned to the Congress,” he said.
Compared to the last election in which the margin was 8,370 votes, it was a comfortable one with 18,127 votes this year.
Initially, Tanveer Sait feared an anti-incumbency wave. He was not in the good books of then chief minister Siddaramaiah and other Congress leaders due to various reasons. There were also rumours of him joining the JD(S).
Even though it was certain that the Congress would field him, former Mayor Ayub Khan was an aspirant of the Congress ticket. Sait banked heavily on his political legacy, inherited from his father, and his network among the people of the constituency.
Most of the projects, for which foundation stones were laid during his last term, like the Government Engineering College, are yet to be executed.
Maqsood Javeed, a railway contractor from Udayagiri, said, “Let us hope that MLA Tanveer Sait will do some good work. The Mahadevapura main road was named after the senior Sait long back. But, people are embarrassed to call it Azeez Sait Road. It is in a pathetic condition. If he develops the road as a model, it will be a fitting tribute to his late father.”