It will be acid test for BJP in Malur

The saffron party has won the last two elections in the constituency

 Even as the BJP struggles to open its account in  Kolar constituency, the saffron party has made inroads in Malur, which shares border with Bangalore and Tamil Nadu.

The BJP has been unable to  win even once from Kolar, in the six Assembly elections held since 1985. However, it is not the case with Malur where the BJP has registered victory for two successive terms.

During the elections held between 1983 and 1999, Malur was represented by candidates of Congress and Janata Pariwar almost for alternate terms. The BJP had no firm base in the constituency for over one-and-half decades.

But, things took a turn in 2004 when S N Krishnaiah Setty, who contested on a BJP ticket trounced A Nagaraju of Congress by a margin of 26,856 votes. With this victory, the saffron party opened its account in Malur.

The BJP continued to the voters’ choice in the 2008 polls too. Krishnaiah Setty won with a huge margin of 52,401 votes in the election then. His nearest rival R Prabhakar of JD(S) managed to secure only 25,879 votes.  Shetty, after winning the election for the second time, was made the Muzrai minister. He is now the chairperson of Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board. He now dreams of scoring a hat-trick victory in Malur constituency.

H B Dyavarappa, who represented the constituency in 1985 and 1994 has distanced himself from politics and is leading a retired life in his village, Hungenahalli.
A Nagaraju who won on Congress ticket during 1983, 1989 and 1999 tasted defeat in 2004. As expected, he was not given ticket  in 2008. Consequently, he distanced himself from Congress and joined JD(S).  However, now he has rejoined Congress and is camping in Delhi for a ticket.

R Prabhakar of JD(S) who secured second highest votes in the 2008 polls is in a fix. Kodihalli Manjunatha Gowda has also emerged as a strong contender for the JD(S) ticket this time. Prabhakar, who initially made public his disappointment, has now taken shelter in silence. Krishnaiah Setty, who was arrested in connection with a land scam, has refuted the rumours that he will not be given ticket this time. He has even launched his campaign.

On the other hand, confusion prevails in Congress and JD(S) over the selection of candidates. It is being said Union Minister K H Muniyappa is making attempts to deny ticket to Nagaraj. The situation in JD(S) is no better with the disappointment over the party accommodating ‘outsiders.’

However, Shetty has no such obstacles in BJP and to that extent he has his path free.
However, given the scams and corruption allegations that the BJP has been embroiled in, the path of victory may not be that easy for the saffron party this time.

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