Revenge politics touched its peak in Nanjangud

Curiosity was over fight b/w Mahadev and Jaykumar

Nanjangud, popularly known as the temple town in the district is known for two reasons across the State - for the dodda jatra mahotsava of Srikanteshwara Swamy temple and the revenge politics of M Mahadev (popularly known as ‘Benki’ Mahadev) and D T Jayakumar.

Till the constituency became ‘SC reserve’ in the 2008, the duo fought four elections as rivals, tasting victory for two equal terms.

The history of the constituency dates back to the year 1952 (though elections were announced by the end of 1951), when the maiden elections to the Legislative Assembly was conducted. It was a dual member constituency with Independent M Linganna and Congress’ M Madaiah, recording victory. Linganna had garnered 11,122 votes and Madaiah 6,930.

In the following election of 1957, P Mahadevaiah of Congress won the maiden seat for the party in the same segment. Mahadevaiah trounced B N S Aradhya of Praja Socialist Party (PSP), by getting 15,391 votes against the latter’s 8,955.

N Rachaiah won on a Congress ticket in1962, defeating the Independent candidate L Srikantaiah. Interestingly, in the elections of 1967, Srikantaiah who contested as an Independent again, avenged the defeat of the previous elections by defeating N Rachaiah.

Interestingly, in the subsequent elections of 1972, the main contenders were Independents K B Shivaiah and L Srikantaiah. However, Shivaiah emerged victorious securing 16,334 votes. In the elections of 1978, Shivaiah jumped into the fray again, but as Congress nominee. He won against Puttaveera of Janata Party.

The elections of 1983 assumed significance for M Mahadev, who made his poll debut contesting as Congress candidate. He romped home a victory, but by a slender margin of 45 votes against K Narasegowda of Janata Party (JP).

He however failed to get the party ticket for the year 1985. M Linganna was fielded by the party, who lost the seat to D T Jayakumar of Janata Party. Jayakumar who had by then resigned as sub-inspector of police was trying his luck in politics.

The significant episode of the constituency began in the year 1989 when M Mahadev and Jayakumar were pitted against each other from Congress and Janata Party, respectively. Mahadev had won by a margin of 12,000 votes. It was vice-versa in the next elections (1994) where Jayakumar won against Mahadev. In the next two elections; both won for a term each. Mahadev was popular as ‘Benki’ (meaning fire in English) for his fiery language.
In the year 2008, with the constituency becoming reserved, V Sreenivasa Prasad of Congress won against S Mahadevaiah of BJP by a margin of 708 votes.

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