JD(S) hopes Cong rebel will bag seat

JD(S) hopes Cong rebel will bag seat

Chamarajpet assembly constituency JDs candidate B K Althaf Khan.Chamarajpet

Chamarajpet is the city’s first extension, formed in 1892, but even today, it faces several problems. 

Chamarajpet, one of the smallest constituencies with 2.16 lakh voters, falls under central Bengaluru.

Narrow roads, heavy traffic, shops and garages in residential areas, garbage and vehicles on either side of the roads and dense population have left the constituency in a mess.

Middle and lower-middle class electorate dominate the constituency, which is also the hub of commercial activities and houses the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, the premier Kannada literary body.

The Chamarajpet constituency is dominated by Muslim voters, followed by Vokkaligas and Brahmins.

The Muslim votes play a crucial role in deciding the fate of any candidate here. Former chief minister S M Krishna had won from here in 2005 as he was jittery about seeking a re-election from his hometown, Maddur in Mandya district. Within a few months, Krishna had to resign from his MLA seat as he was appointed the governor of Maharashtra.

It was then that sitting JD(S) MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan made a foray into electoral politics. He won the byelection to Chamarajpet and has continued to hold a sway over the constituency for three successive terms.

He has now switched to the Congress and is seeking re-election, while the JD(S) has fielded a Congress turncoat B K Altaf Khan. He was an aspirant for the Congress ticket from Chamarajpet.

Once a trusted lieutenant of JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy, Zameer and six others fell apart with the former chief minister. They all joined the Congress and are
seeking a re-election.

Both Kumaraswamy and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda fielded Altaf to ensure Zameer is defeated.

People in the constituency crave for development and say that political leaders only show up days before the election.

From BJP there were three aspirants — B V Ganesh, who lost in 2013, M Lakshminarayana and Lahari Velu. The party finally chose Lakshminarayana.

“I won’t give assurances, I know the problems, I will solve them. People of my constituency do not want the JD(S). Even the JD(S) candidate is from my community. But people will vote for me,” Zameer said.

“There was no hospital, I constructed a 50-bed hospital; there was no women’s college, I set up one,” he said, adding that funds have been allocated for widening roads.

Lakshminarayana said there has been no development for the past 13 years in the constituency, which is filled with garbage and lacks parks. Only Rayapuram and Chalavadi Palya, which are under BJP corporators, has seen
development, he claims.

“People in the constituency have decided to send Zameer Ahmed home. Roads in residential areas are just eight to 10 feet wide,” he said.

Altaf said there is a need for development in the constituency. He is confident that people will vote for him for development.