Maddur, Malavalli: A long way to go

Maddur, Malavalli: A long way to go

Maddur, Malavalli: A long way to go

Despite good political representation, the constituencies are still shy of development.

 Maddur is synonymous with former chief minister S M Krishna, even though he has now distanced himself from the place of his birth. It is from here that he started his political career as a Praja Socialist Party MLA in 1962.

Before Krishna, the constituency was represented by the legendary H K Veerannagowda, who was then the Pradesh Congress chief. Krishna lost the constituency to M Manchegowda of Congress, supported by Nadagowda Siddappa, in 1967. Manchegowda was elected as MLA in 1978 and 1983 also. Krishna went on to represent Mandya in the Lok Sabha from 1968 in the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th Lok Sabha. Krishna once again became MLA in 1989. Manchegowda’s son Dr M Maheshchand was elected MLA in 1994.

Krishna blew the Panchajanya in 1999 and went on to become the chief minister. People of the district supported him cutting across caste and party lines. Of the nine constituencies, seven were won by Congress candidates.

Malavalli started off as a two-member constituency in 1952 and was bifurcated into Kirugavalu, Scheduled Caste reserved, in 1962. Legendary politician, who spearheads the Cauvery agitation, G Madegowda began his political career as a Congress MLA the same year from Malavalli. In 1967 SC reservation was accorded to Malavalli, and Madegowda shifted base to Kirugavalu. He went on to represent the constituency uninterrupted till he opted to contest the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency election in 1989 (total six terms).

Chikkarasinakere and Bharathinagar hoblis under Kirugavalu constituency were merged into Maddur, while Kirugavalu hobli in Malavalli taluk went to Malavalli constituency in 2008 — as a result of delimitation. Now, some parts of Koppa hobli in Maddur taluk belongs to Nagamangala constituency.

This brings to fore the many commonalities between both Maddur and Malavalli constituencies. Given that the constituencies were represented by eminent politicians, they have not progressed well. The problems of farmers, like them not getting water for their crops by the end of monsoon, has become a regular feature here. Hence, agriculture is on the decline. People are looking at other means for livelihood, resulting in migration to nearby cities.

As Shivananjappa, a vegetable market auctioneer, puts it, “Price of lands — residential, commercial as well as agricultural lands — in Maddur have escalated. People from Bangalore and beyond are investing heavily, which has resulted in the locals migrating to other parts in search of jobs.”

Farmers protesting for water and officials giving assurances, is an annual affair. The problem gets carried over, but it does not affect the poll prospects of candidates contesting elections.

While Maddur has good connectivity with both Bangalore and Mysore, due to the presence of the highway, Malavalli is affected badly due to bad roads. Except for the Bangalore-Dindugal Highway, it is a bumpy ride in Malavalli. Even though these two places have high tourism potential, it is yet to be tapped.

Sand extraction from river beds is rampant in both constituencies. Except for a raid here and there, no action has been taken to put a check on the menace, because those involved in the illegal activity are well-connected to politicians at the helm of affairs.

Ground water depletion

Prakash, who works for Nirmithi Kendra, said that the extraction of sand has resulted in drying up of streams and depletion of groundwater levels. Birds from Kokkare Bellur are finding it hard to find food as there is no water in Shimsha River.

 Apart from Kokkare Bellur, Sathyagraha Soudha in Shivapura, Sri
Vaidyanatheshwara temple, etc, can be developed into tourist attractions.
In Malavalli, Gaganachukki, Muthathi and Bheemeshwari fishing camp across river Cauvery attract tourists. While Bheemeshwari is out of reach of common people, due to exorbitant costs, there is no security in other places. Sri Narasimha Swamy temple in the town and the only Ravaneshwara temple in the whole of South India, on the outskirts, belong to the Chola period.

Maddur was in the news as ex-MLA Kalpana Siddaraju was denied JD(S) ticket in favour of ex-MLA D C Thammanna, who crossed over from BJP. He had represented Kirugavalu (1999) and Maddur (2004) constituencies as a Congress MLA. So, Kalpana is in the fray as an Independent. G Madegowda’s son and ex-MLC (BJP) Madhu Madegowda is the Congress candidate. As the sympathies of grassroots level workers are with Kalpana, Thammanna is having a tough time. But the party is hopeful, as it feels that Kalpana lacks in organisational skills.

Relation

Thammanna is related to former prime minister and JD(S) supremo H D Devegowda (Thammanna’s daughter Dr Sowmya is married to Gowda’s son Dr Ramesh). Hence, he has the full backing of the party high command.

Both Krishna and actor-turned politician Ambareesh are campaigning for Madhu.
In Malavalli, even though it is a straight fight between the former minister and incumbent MLA P M Narendraswamy and former MLA K Andani, other candidates like KJP’s Muniraju and Dr Murthy of BSR Congress are seen playing a vital role.

Narendraswamy is banking on his achievements and the backing of Opposition Leader Siddaramaiah. He claims to have brought Rs 600 crore funds to his constituency over the past five years.

Former minister and JD(U) candidate B Somasekhar is also seen appealing to voters for support, stating that this would be his last election.

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