Malleswaram: BJP in poll position; Cong desperate to salvage pride

Malleswaram: BJP in poll position; Cong desperate to salvage pride

One of the oldest localities in Bengaluru, Malleswaram houses some historic temples like Kadu Malleshwara, after which the area is named.

It is also home to premier institutes like the Indian Institute of Science, while Sankey Tank and the upscale Sadashivanagar form a part.

Vokkaligas and Brahmins are the dominant voting segments here, along with others. Since the 2008 delimitation, Malleswaram has been voting for the BJP, with its representative C N Ashwathnarayan — a medical doctor — seeking a third term.

A Vokkaliga, Dr Ashwathnarayan is confident of getting re-elected, with a good track record and widespread support from the voters. The BJP has no real threat here, he says.

The Congress seems to be on a turmoil after its choice of candidate — Science and Technology Minister M R Seetharam — backing out at the last minute, saying he had lost touch with the electorate.

Former top cop B K Shivaram, who lost to Dr Ashwathnarayan in 2013, did not show interest in seeking a ticket.

Finally, the grand old party had to save face by fielding a political greenhorn, Kengal Sreepada Renu, a former Ranji cricketer and grandson of former chief minister Kengal Hanumanthaiah.

Having become a candidate in the very last minute, Renu, also a Vokkaliga, is relying on his grandfather's legacy to garner votes. He has a tough time connecting with the local Congress leaders to mount a serious challenge to Dr Ashwathnarayan. The JD(S), which has no real presence here, has also fielded a relative lightweight, advocate Madhusudhan N.

Though the constituency has no serious issues, mosquitoes and stray dogs continue to be a menace. "There are instances where several people in one street were affected by dengue. This is a serious issue," said Yogendra Varne, a resident of Malleswaram.

~ 2013 elections 

Winner: Dr C N Ashwathnarayan (BJP)

Runner-up: B K Shivaram (Cong)

~ Candidates for 2018

Dr C N Ashwathnarayan (BJP)

Kengal Sreepada Renu (Cong)

Madhusudhan N (JD-S)

~ Top five issues

Mosquito menace
Stray dogs
Illegal posters
Parking problems
Footpath encroachment

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