Old rivals enter eighth round of poll battle

Old rivals enter eighth round of poll battle

Congress, JD(S) expected to fight hard in Srinivaspur

Regardless of the season, the ‘land of mangoes’ is focusing greater on the ongoing election fervour.

Most people are waiting to find if the taluk, known for little preference to party politics, will continue with convention or would have a change of mind in selection of its representative.

There are 10 candidates in fray this election.

Consecutive polls

JD(S) candidate G K Venkatashiva Reddy, who has won four times, and Congress candidate K R Ramesh Kumar, who won three elections, are both contesting for the eighth time successively. The last three decades have literally seen a contest between only these two politicians as representatives of the citizens, since no other candidate has won starting 1983.

This time, the battlefield also has K P Nagaraju (BSP), V Venkategowda (BJP), Niaz Ahmed (Samajwadi Janata Party), S V Venkatachalapathi (KJP), V Sriramu (JDU), M Harish (BSR Congress) and K S Mallikarjuna and P C Venkatashiva Reddy as Independents.
Yet, the discussions among the citizens continue to hover around ‘Reddy’ (G K Venkatashiva Reddy) and ‘Swami’ (Ramesh Kumar), sidelining the rest eight of the contestants.

No ‘one way’

While convention in Srinivaspur is victory alternating between Reddy and Swami, this time, however, both analysts and voters are not sure of the outcome, expecting a close contest between the traditional rivals.

The chief reason for the apparent change is the delimitation in 2008, when Holur and Sugatur hoblis of Kolar taluk were moved to Srinivaspur constituency.

Vokkaligas nourish disenchantment with the Congress since the party has not fielded candidates from the community except for three reserved constituencies. The community dominates the two hoblis and denial of an opportunity is likely to have an adverse effect on the poll prospects of the Congress. The votes may swing at least by five per cent, according to local people. However, it should also be noted that Sugatur hobli is the Congress bastion.

Both competitors, Reddy and Swami, have taken care to pay attention to the hoblis right from the start of their campaigns. The JD(S) is the stronger of the two parties in the hoblis.

Also, in Srinivaspur, seven constituencies, including Holur and Sugatur, have JD(S) members as representatives. At taluk panchayat level too, 21 of the 25 constituencies were taken by the JD(S).

The figure, therefore, are showing major chances of the conventional ‘sequence of alternation’ failing this time and the JD(S) retaining the Srinivaspur seat.

Ramesh Kumar, however, is confident of his strong points, including oratorial skills and ability to coordinate people, helping him turn trumps. He has also paid attention to work for the development of the area as legislator and this could work in his benefit this elections, say analysts.

Change in environment

The old hoblis in the constituencies too have an air of change in preferences of the citizens. So far, there was a clear distinction in the strong areas of both candidates and neither would even visit the other’s area to campaign. Now, the situation has changed a lot.

A resident of Arikere, who explained, said, “Earlier, Reddy would not even visit Somayajalahalli, since the people would definitely vote for only Swami. Similarly, since Kallur ‘belonged’ to Reddy, Swami would not go there. Now, both are forced to visit both villages and campaign there.”

In the backdrop of such intense, continued contest between Reddy and Swami, however, other parties and candidates are in the fray on paper, but are virtually out of the game.

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