Yeswanthpur: Jaggesh’s entry adds drama, heats up poll fight

The election battle in the semi-urban Yeswanthpur turned dramatic with the last-minute entry of actor Jaggesh, which could either help or harm the prospects of the BJP.

The saffron brigade can taste success if its cadres work as a team or blow up its chances if factionalism continues.

Though BJP state chief B S Yeddyurappa's confidante Shobha Karandalaje was pitching for the seat, a firm no from the central leadership — which would not like to give tickets to sitting MPs other than Yeddyurappa and B Sriramulu — meant she had to back off.

A Member of Parliament from Udupi Chikmagalur, Shobha carried the Yeswanthpur seat in 2008 by trouncing sitting Congress MLA S T Somashekar. The BJP announced Jaggesh as its candidate to the constituency just a day before the filing of nomination was closed.

Yeswanthpur became a constituency after the 2008 delimitation. One of the largest in terms of its geographical spread, this seat is a hotchpotch of urban and rural neighbourhoods.

This being a Vokkaliga-dominated seat, all the three major parties have fielded candidates from the community. The seat also has a strong presence of minority and Other Backward Class voters.

'Kasa'vanthpura

"The Yeswanthpur constituency has turned into 'Kasa'vanthpura (kasa means garbage)," Jaggesh said while campaigning in Kengeri on Friday, referring to the five waste processing centres in the constituency.

Jaggesh's supporters accuse Congressman Somashekar of outsourcing the waste processing centres to his allies and minting money.

Somashekar, who campaigned near Herohalli on Magadi Road, pointed out that Jaggesh is a newcomer to the constituency and does not know anything about the issues plaguing the area.

"I've been working for this constituency for over 10 years and it took half that time to figure out the diverse set of problems here and solve them one after the other," Somashekar told DH.

The incumbent said he spent the past five years clearing the rajakaluves by spending Rs 103 crore and fixing the underground drainage systems to mitigate waterlogging.

With a population of 4.5 lakh spread over 110 villages and five wards, a majority of the households in the constituency has Cauvery water supply. The remaining residents will also get water in the next four to five months.

He said one of the five waste processing units is not functioning, but the rest are working efficiently to manage the garbage in the constituency.

According to a BJP worker here, the first business for its candidate post his victory would be to remove the waste processing plants and make Yeswanthpur a model constituency by constituting committees made of citizens, lawyers, the press and good leaders, who would help the constituency regain its old charm. Roads, greenery and sanitation would be taken up immediately, the worker added.

JD(S) candidate T N Javarayi Gowda, who was busy campaigning in the minority-dominated slum area in Ullal Upanagara and was moving to Kanakapura, was not available for comments.

The regional party is hoping for consolidation of the Vokkaliga votes to wrest the seat from the Congress.

"We don't go by the party name or personal popularity. We have seen some leaders really work and some don't even respond to our calls. We know whom to vote for," said K R Narasimhamurthy, a medical shop owner.

~ 2013 elections 

Winner: S T Somashekar (Cong)

Runner-up: T N Javarayi Gowda (JD-S)

~ Candidates for 2018 

S T Somashekar (Cong)

Jaggesh (BJP)

T N Javarayi Gowda (JD-S)

~ Top five issues

Corruption
Garbage processing
Cauvery water supply
Underground drainage system
Flash floods during rain

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Yeswanthpur: Jaggesh’s entry adds drama, heats up poll fight

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