Lotus continues to bloom in Kodagu district

BJP retains both seats in the district

If the BJP has crashed in the Assembly election in most of the districts in the State, perhaps Kodagu is an exception. The BJP has strengthened its fold in Kodagu district with its candidates retaining their seats in both Madikeri and Virajpet constituencies.

The victory of the BJP candidates could be more or less considered as the failure of the opposition party leaders rather than the victory of the BJP candidates due to developmental activities.

Appachu Ranjan who won in Madikeri constituency received 36 per cent of votes, while K G Bopaiah from Virajpet constituency has received 47 per cent of votes, suggesting that the number of votes cast against them is more compared to the number of votes cast in their favour. It clearly indicates the failure of the opposition parties to pool the votes using the anti-incumbency.

A week before the election, several media surveys had predicted pro-Congress wave in the district, which the Congress utterly failed to cash-in-on. Several factors including internal fights of the Congress leaders, neutrality maintained by the ticket aspirants who were denied tickets, failure of the Congress to highlight the loopholes of BJP MLAs are said to have contributed for the victory of the BJP.

Another factor that did not work well with the Congress, is fielding fresh faces over veterans. Though the senior leaders of the party expressed unhappiness over the high-command’s decision, the high-command did not pay attention to the complaints, but fielded political novices against experienced candidates from the BJP. More importantly, some of the Congress leaders took the situation for granted and wasted time with an over confidence of winning in the district due to the State-wide pro-Congress wave.
The Congress put no special efforts to draw the votes of tribals, scheduled caste members and minority communities which are normally considered as traditional votes of the Congress.

Failure to address issues

Moreover, the Congress candidates drastically failed to raise the issues prevailing in Kodagu. In rather dull speeches, they spoke about the State-wide corruption and scams, while they made no mention of local problems like wild elephant menace, drinking water, sites distribution, implementation of Forest Rights Act, misappropriations in Akrama-Sakrama in the district.

On the other hand, the JD(S) which had raised some hopes during last one year by staging protests and fighting against the government for corruption and misappropriations, failed to retain the same spirit till the end. Disappointingly, its leaders polarised in stood in different directions as the election approached.

The voters opt for change only when there is a good candidate who is better than the existing elected representative. But, in Kodagu, among all those who contested, there were no ‘good’ leaders who succeeded in creating hopes among the people.

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