Dry lands set to witness keen contests

Dry lands set to witness keen contests

Rich belts of Nagamangala, K R Pet Assembly segments losing its youth to cities

 Nagamangala and Krishnarajapet (K R Pet) taluks and constituencies in the district are politically very important for all parties, and are keenly fought.

As most parts in these places are dry lands, agriculture is limited and people migrating to cities, in search of jobs, is a common feature. While a majority of youth from Nagamangala head towards Bangalore and Bhadravathi, those from K R Pet used to go to Bombay (now Mumbai).

Now, as the economy in Bangalore has something to offer for everybody, nearer home, the lure of Mumbai has reduced. So, there are no young people in the villages. They descend only for festivals and elections.

Even though Veeravaishnavi River, a tributary to Shimsha river, flows in Nagamangala taluk, irrigation has taken a blow here. Coconut is the main crop of the region. Tender coconut, coconut and kopra generate the moolah. People are enterprising and have a good network.

Some of them have become successful politicians in Bangalore city also. With the inclusion of Koopa hobli of Maddur taluk in 2008, some parts are irrigated, but this belong to the tail end of Visvesvaraya Canal.

Over the past one decade, some parts of K R Pet was irrigated by Hemavathy water. But till date, over 60 per cent of farm lands still depend on rains. Vegetables and horticulture crops are grown in abundance. However, the vegetable market, run by the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee, is not organised.

K R Pet constituency is the only one in Mandya district that is geographically the taluk also. Earlier, Shilnere hobli of K R Pet taluk was under Pandavapura constituency. With the formation of Melkote constituency, Pandavapura shed Shilnere, and it was merged with K R Pet constituency.

When it comes to tourism, no party has done anything so far in both constituencies. Apart from Kalabhairaveshwara temple and Halathi — a Shivalinga surrounded by water in a cave — managed by the Adichunchanagiri mutt, there are a plenty of places of architectural importance like Sowmyakeshava temple in Nagamangala town, Kambadalli basadi, Kotarayaswamy and Narasimhaswamy temple in Kotebetta.

Tourist attraction

In K R pet, Hoysala temples at Hosaholalu and Akkihebbalu, Varahaswamy temple at Ganjigere, temples at Hemagiri, Govindanarayanahalli, Madapatna, etc attract hordes of devotees and tourists. Hosapatna, an island in Hemavathy River has become a haven for migratory birds. But, there are no facilities.

Roads are in a bad shape, except for Srirangapatna-Bidar and Bangalore-Mangalore highways. There are still villages which do not have bus connectivity, while some villages have direct bus service to Mumbai.

Nagamangala opened its account with an Independent MLA and K R Pet Congress MLA. Voters have elected Independents six times in Nagamangala and twice in K R Pet.
In Nagamangala H T Krishnappa, a Janata Party nominee could not get ‘B’ form and contested as an Independent. L R Shivaramegowda contested as rebel Congress candidate once and a Janata Dal rebel in the next election. H T Krishnappa from Nagamangala went on to become a minister in the Ramakrishna Hegde cabinet, while L R Shivaramegowda became Bangalore Development Authority chairman, Karnataka Housing Board chairman and Coir Board chairman. Krishna from K R Pet became Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly.

MLA K Suresh Gowda of Congress is pitched against two time MLA and now MP N Chaluvarayaswamy in a straight fight. T Krishnappa (popularly known as KK), who crossed over from Congress to KJP, is also expected to make a dent.

Suresh Gowda, a former employee of HAL in Bangalore and a land developer, was first a supporter of Chaluvarayaswamy. A supporter of L R Shivaramegowda, he then defected to Congress. Chaluvarayaswamy has always been with the JD(S) and started his political career as a ZP member, under the tutelage of then district in-charge minister S D Jayaram. In fact, he was the only JD(S) MLA for the whole of old Mysore – Mysore, Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts — in 1999.

In K R Pet, it seems to be a triangular fight between MLA K B Chandrasekhar of Congress, K C Narayana Gowda of JD(S) and rebel JD(S) candidate Krishna. Chandrasekhar is a two-time MLA and belongs to a political family. He was president of the K R Pet Interim Mandal Panchayat. His father Boralingegowda was president of K R Pet town municipal council for 25 years uninterrupted.

Narayana Gowda, true to the character of the constituency, had migrated to Mumbai in search of a bright future. Now, he is a successful industrialist and is backed by influential politicians. He has been organising his own support base in the constituency over the past couple of years.

Former Speaker Krishna has been MLA three times and is now riding on a sympathy wave, due to denial of party ticket. Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and KJP have declared their support in Krishna. Vasu, a prominent Kuruba leader, declined to contest, despite getting a BJP ticket, in support to Krishna.

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