Will JD(S) retain seat?

Will JD(S) retain seat?

Will JD(S) retain seat?

C M Lingappa(L), K Raju(centre), Narayana Gowda(R)On the day K Raju filed his nomination papers as the party candidate, HDK declared in public that it was not Raju but he himself was in the fray. His prestige is at stake in the constituency.

However, in the eyes of HDK’s followers, Raju is no match for their leader. So, Kumaraswamy and JD(S) supremo H D Kumaraswamy are sweating out to retain the constituency. Ramnagaram is going to polls for the second time in a span of 15 months. The seat fell vacant with the election of H D Kumaraswamy to Lok Sabha. Raju, a native of Kailancha hobli had unsuccessfully contested for the ZP seat.

Former MLC Marilinge Gowda, who was aspiring to contest as the JD(S) candidate, is now with the BJP. But that has been negated by the return of PGR Sindhia to the JDS’ fold. He is campaigning with Deve Gowda.

The ruling BJP has fielded Narayana Gowda, president of Bangalore Urban District Central Co-operative Bank.

He was twice defeated in the elections to Kanakapura constituency. He is a familiar name in Harohalli and Maralawadi hoblis and is banking on the voters of these two hoblis for his victory. The party has put in-charge an MLA for each hobli. The Yeddyurappa team campaigning is extensively for the party candidate.

Tough task

For the Congress, it is a tough task to fight the battle against the JD(S). It was reduced to the third slot in the 2008 Assembly elections in this HDK domain. And in 2009 Lok Sabha elections Congress nominee just got 10,000 votes in Ramnagaram while the victory margin of HDK was 1,30,275 votes.

Now the Congress nominee is former MLA C M Lingappa. He had represented the constituency thrice. He had defeated film star Ambareesh in the byelection in 1996. But he no longer enjoys the confidence of the people as he used to.

He had considerable hold in Bidadi hobli. But after the delimitation, it has been merged with Magadi constituency. This is a drawback for him.

Vokkaliga dominated

All the three candidates are Vokkaligas in this Vokkaliga dominated constituency. So all the candidates are making their best to attract non-Vokkaliga votes. Ramnagaram town has considerable number of Muslims. Both the Congress and the JD(S) are making best efforts to get maximum votes of this community.

It is to be seen whether HDK’s popularity can again overshadow the strengths of non-JD(S) candidates.