Bangalore South always attracted 'guest' politicians

Bangalore South always  attracted 'guest' politicians

The Bangalore South Lok Sabha seat has always attracted luminaries from different fields, who have tried their electoral fortune from this constituency which has the reputation of having the highest number of educated voters in the State.

By deciding to enter the Lok Sabha poll fray from Bangalore South, technocrat and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani is all set to continue this four-decade-long tradition started by the iconic Kannada poet Prof M Gopalakrishna Adiga who contested from here in 1971.

Besides Prof Adiga, economist Prof K Venkatagiri Gowda, jurist and former Supreme Court judge Justice K S Hegde, popular heroine of yesteryear Jayanthi, entrepreneur Capt G R Gopinath and educationist Prof K E Radhakrishna have fought the elections from this constituency.

According to political observers, prominent people from other walks of life have contested from Bangalore South hoping that the educated voters would prefer them to politicians. On some occasions, political parties did not find a right match to their seasoned opponents and thus pitted popular personalities against them.

Bharatiya Jan Sangh, the erstwhile avatar of the BJP, sprang a surprise in the 1971 Lok Sabha elections by fielding Prof Adiga, the pioneer of Navya tradition in Kannada literature, against former chief minister Kengal Hanumanthaiah of the Congress. But the literary giant was no match to the colossal politician who registered an emphatic win.

In the next elections in 1977, Justice K S Hegde, father of former Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde, entered the fray as the Janata Party candidate. Riding on a strong anti-Emergency wave, he trounced Kengal and later went on to become the Lok Sabha Speaker. The defeat brought an end to the long, illustrious political career of Kengal.

Prof Venkatagiri Gowda, author of many acclaimed works on monetary economics and also a contemporary of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at London School of Economics, contested twice from Bangalore South. After losing the 1984 polls as Congress candidate, he contested 1991 elections on the BJP ticket and won against the sitting MP and former chief minister R Gundu Rao. Incidentally, Rao moved into political oblivion after this defeat.

However, except Justice Hegde and Prof Gowda, all those who have tasted victory from this constituency were seasoned politicians. Her popularity could not fetch much votes to Jayanthi who contested on a JD(S) ticket in 2004. Transport tycoon D P Sharma, founder of Sharma Transport and a former steward of Bangalore Turf Club, lost the polls twice in 1980 and 1998. Bangalore South voters were also cold to Capt Gopinath and Prof Radhakrishna in the 2009 elections.
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