Tamil votes to decide the fate of Gandhinagar candidates

Tamil votes to decide the fate of Gandhinagar candidates

Tamil votes to decide the fate  of Gandhinagar candidates

The first challenge for any candidate in the fray in the Gandhinagar Assembly constituency is to separate the voters from the floating population and visitors.

With the Kempe Gowda bus station and the City Railway Station in its fold and an average of 10 lakh footfalls a day, Gandhinagar is the most visited constituency in the entire State. One can buy anything, as the local parlance goes, from “plastic to platinum” in the bustling criss-crossing lanes and bylanes of the business hubs of Chickpet, Cottonpet and Binnypet in the constituency.

Tamil-speaking people form a major chunk of the total voters’ population of 1.8 lakh and become a deciding factor in the polls.

An estimated 90,000 Tamil-speaking people reside in various pockets of the constituency, including Srirampura, V V Giri Colony, Rasaldhar Street, JCW Nagar, Okalipuram, Hanumanthapur, Swathantrapalya, Jakkarayana Kere and Nagammanagar.

Most of them were working in the three major mills in the region, which have now closed down. They are now employed as daily wage workers in various small-scale factories.

Angry with Congress

Supporters of the BJP candidate P C Mohan claim that the Tamil votes will not go to the Congress this time. They feel Tamil voters are angry against the Congress for not voicing their support for the Sri Lankan Tamils’ cause. However, the feeling in the constituency is not that apparent as claimed by the BJP workers.

Sitting MLA Dinesh Gundu Rao of the Congress is facing anti-incumbency in some pockets of the segment.

Months before the announcement of the poll dates, supporters of Mohan started a discreet campaign that Gundu Rao had neglected the constituency, an allegation the latter stoutly denies.

He claims that the people have not only appreciated his efforts in developing the constituency, but this time the confidence that Congress will come back to power has come as an added advantage to him.

At the same time, the going is not good for Mohan, a sitting MP from the Bangalore Central Lok Sabha constituency under which Gandhinagar Assembly segment falls. The general perception is that Mohan still has one-year left as MP and his victory could result in an “unnecessary” bypoll for the Lok Sabha seat.

Popular among traders

However, Mohan claims that it is at the instance of the people that he is contesting from the constituency. He and his party are popular among the trader community.

In the 2008 polls, Dinesh Gunda Rao defeated Mohan by a margin of 6,966 votes.
JD(S) candidate and former IPS officer Subhash Bharani is trying his luck in electoral politics for the third time in five years. He had unsuccessfully contested from T Narsipura (2008 polls) and Kollegal (2009 by-polls) as a BJP and BSP candidate, respectively.

Former corporator V Nagaraj, popular in the constituency for his social service, especially for providing free books to students, is contesting on the BSR Congress ticket. Nagaraj has the potential to cut into the votes of candidates from the three major political parties.

The final outcome in the constituency will depend on the undecided Tamil votes.

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