Gung-ho Congress apparatus makes going tough for HDK

Gung-ho Congress apparatus makes going tough for HDK

Gung-ho Congress apparatus makes going tough for HDK

 The churning among local leaders in Ramanagara constituency has strengthened the Congress in the otherwise strong domain of former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy.

Riding on a favourable wave, Kumaraswamy of the JD(S) defeated his nearest rival M Rudreesha of the BJP by a mammoth margin of 47,260 votes in the 2008 election. A year later, Kumaraswamy vacated the seat, after getting elected to the Lok Sabha from the Bangalore Rural constituency.

Back in his home turf, Kumaraswamy still commands an edge, but it may not be a cakewalk for him this time.

Congress candidate Maridevaru, a local resident who opted for Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) from government service, has been trying hard for the last one year to strike a rapport with the voters by enquiring about and suggesting remedies to civic problems in the constituency.

What has come as a shot in the arm for Maridevaru is the homecoming of several ‘migrant’ local leaders back to the Congress front.

K Sheshadri, former president of the Ramanagara-Channapatna Urban Development Authority, who had quit the Congress to join the BJP, has returned to his parent party.

Another local leader P Nagaraj, director of the Ramanagara unit of the Karnataka Milk Federation, who too had quit the Congress to join BJP, has returned. Both the leaders are well connected with the voters both in rural and urban pockets. The general perception that Congress will come to power has led to enthusiasm among the party cadre.

In the recent Ramanagara City Municipal Council (CMC) polls, Congress won 16 seats, the JD(S) 12 and BJP and Independent one each in the 31-member house.

The trends indicate that Congress is ahead in the town, but the JD(S) still holds its fort in the rural areas, which have a larger share of votes.

Kumaraswamy is immensely popular in several pockets of the constituency.

Eshwaraiah, former president of the Harohalli Gram Panchayat (which comes under Ramanagara Assembly segment), explains the popularity of Kumaraswamy.

“He understands the difficulties of the farmers and the poor and responds to their needs. He is perceived to have the potential to rise once again to the helm of affairs”. Besides, 65 per cent of the electorate are Vokkaligas, the community to which Kumaraswamy belongs.

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