Reddys dash dalits' hopes in Jagalur

In the last six elections since the panchayat raj institutions were revived in Karnataka, the Reddys, with a minuscule 1,000 voters, have been winning the ZP seat, thanks to the money and muscle power the upper caste enjoys.

To rub salt into the wound, Ashwatha Reddy has been elected six times as MLA from the Jagalur seat, becoming minister twice.

But with Anabooru being reserved in the SC-woman category, the dalits thought they could throw off the yoke of the Reddys, as candidates from the upper caste would not be able to contest in the reserved seat.

But the Reddys would not be denied. They found a subterfuge to hold on to the seat. They have now fielded Saroja Bai, a dalit who is married to a Reddy, as the BJP candidate.
Saroja is the wife of Pranesha Reddy, a relative of Chitradurga legislator G H Thippa Reddy and former minister Ashwatha Reddy. Dalits are convinced that Saroja, although a dalit herself, would be a proxy for the powerful Reddy community.

Source of strength

Former MLA S V Ramachandra, who was a source of strength to the dalits, too has joined the BJP, depressing the dalits further.

The dalits have given up all hopes of liberating the seat from the Reddys’s iron grip, and are convinced that the Jagalur ZP seat will still remain a Reddy pocket borough, given the money power of the BJP and the determination of the powerful upper caste to not let the seat go out of their hands.

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