Best strategist will win here

Best strategist will win here

The rush of candidates belonging to minority community aspiring to represent Chamarajpet in the State Assembly has made the upcoming polls a tightrope walk for sitting JD(S) MLA B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan.

As many as 11 of the total 20 candidates in the fray are Muslims, vying to woo voters in this Muslim-dominated constituency. Except for BJP, all political parties, including the JD(S), Congress, KJP and Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) have fielded Muslim candidates. 

The contest has in a way put Zameer’s organisational skills to test as he has to ensure that Muslim candidates of other parties do not eat into his vote base. Though he continues to hold sway over many parts of the constituency, there appears to be strong resentment among people against him in some underdeveloped pockets for not having done enough to improve their living conditions, despite being the MLA for two terms.

As a testimony to the people’s anger against the MLA, people of Padarayanapura ward, where Zameer once had good hold, elected SDPI-supported candidate Prof Nazni Begum as the corporator and rejected the JD(S) candidate in the last BBMP elections.

Major parts of the constituency, which comprise the seven wards of Padarayanapura, Azadnagar, Chamarajpet, Rayapura, Jagjeevanram Nagar, Chaluvadipalya and K R Market have poor basic civic amenities. The SDPI has decided to tap the anti-Zameer feeling in the upcoming polls and has fielded Usman Baig as its candidate.

The Congress has fielded retired police officer G A Bava, a political novice. He had actively involved in Veerappa Moily’s campaign in Chikkaballapur in 2009. He is mainly banking on the party's traditional votes and angst among the electorate against Zameer. Bava has been assuring people security and proper law and order, if elected.

B V Ganesh, a two-time BBMP corporator from Chamarajpet, is the BJP candidate. He is hoping that division of Muslim votes (said to be around 70,000), especially among the Congress, JD(S), SDPI and KJP, would help him defeat his rivals. Besides, he has made development of the constituency a big issue and is promising people that he will be accessible to them to solve their problems.

The BJP is hoping that there will be consolidation of non-Muslim votes in its favour (there are about 30,000 SCs, 20,000 Tamils, 20,000 Brahmins, 15,000 weavers, 10,000 Lingayats) in the constituency. The party had got about 23,000 votes in 2008, despite its candidate (Shama Sundar) being a political novice and an outsider. Zameer had secured about 43,000 votes and won the election. The party believes that it has bright chances of emerging victorious if everything works out the way it is planning.

But Zameer, who runs a fleet of buses and is a close associate of JD(S) State president H D Kumaraswamy, knows the tricks of wooing voters. His techniques have worked in the past. He has taken up intense campaigning. Kumaraswamy has already visited the constituency several times to campaign for Zameer.

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