Mayor to take on BJP’s hat-trick hopeful

Mayor to take on BJP’s hat-trick hopeful

CV raman nagar BJP candidate S Raghu.CV Raman Nagar

For the second consecutive time, CV Raman Nagar will see a fight between sitting MLA S Raghu and an outsider from the Congress.

What is interesting this time is that Congress rebel P Ramesh is now contesting on a JD(S) ticket. Ramesh had tasted defeat in 2013 by a margin of 44,945 votes.

CV Raman Nagar, an SC reserved constituency, has been with the BJP for the past two terms. Even as Rahgu is keen on scoring a hat-trick, Congress candidate and Bengaluru Mayor R Sampath Raj already claims to have won the battle.

Raj, a resident of Pulakeshinagar constituency, is fighting his maiden Assembly elections from CV Raman Nagar.

When Chief Minister Siddaramaiah visited CV Raman Nagar before the announcement of the elections, he had told the people that he would bring his close aide Mahadevappa, from T Narsipur, to CV Raman Nagar. While the Congress was in a dilemma on whether to choose between Mahadevappa and his son Sunil Bose, Raj emerged as the candidate and was chosen to fight Raghu.

The fight will be interesting as voters are not happy with the state of affairs in their constituency. “Neither has Raghu done much for us nor has the mayor done much for the city. Piles of garbage, narrow roads, mosquito menace and inadequate infrastructure continue to dog the constituency,” said Kamala C Kulkarni, a resident of Byalasandra.

The constituency showcases two different socio-economic categories.

One part comprises residents in prominent defence establishments like the DRDO and BEL complexes, who have no knowledge of politics and problems outside their four walls.

In the other part, citizens in areas like New Thippasandra, Benninganahalli, Jeevan Bima Nagar and CV Raman Nagar are worried about the health and safety issues. Raghu, who was a corporator in 2006 and his wife — a corporator in 2001, blamed the state government (Congress) for the lack of funds. “There has been a lot of discrimination while allocating funds. Constituencies like Sarvagnanagar and KR Puram received Rs 800 to Rs 1,000 crore, while CV Raman Nagar got a mere Rs 10 crore,” he said.

On the other hand, Raj said defeating Raghu will not be difficult as he is not available to the people.

“There is anti-incumbency. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has admitted that Raghu is the only MLA who has never placed any problems before him. He has also never voiced the problems of the constituency in the Assembly,” he said.

But rebel Congress candidate Ramesh is optimistic that he will win this time as people have sympathy towards him.

“The Congress denied me a ticket and has fielded an outsider. I am a local and people know me. I am sure to win the election,” he claimed.