Vote for my work, D K Suresh

Vote for my work, D K Suresh

Vote for my work, D K Suresh

Congress candidate for Bangalore Rural constituency and sitting Member of Parliament D K Suresh is out at the hustings in the “enemy territory” Ramanagara – the domain of former chief minister and local MLA H D Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular).

The campaign begins at 11:30 am on Thursday at Maiganahalli, off the busy Bangalore-Mysore highway. After offering pooja at a local temple, addresses a gathering. The next stop is at Shugganahalli. Villagers welcome him by bursting crackers and beating drums. He is accompanied by Maridevaru, who contested unsuccessfully in the 2013 Assembly polls against Kumaraswamy.

Suresh greets the villagers and then climbs onto an open van. The decision of Kumaraswamy to contest from Chikkaballapur Lok Sabha constituency comes in handy for him. “Do not go by parties. Look at who has worked for you. I am from this district and will serve you for the rest of my life. There are others who come and go. They eat here and if it is not good, they go elsewhere,” he adds without taking the name of Kumaraswamy but making an oblique reference to him.

The villagers understand the reference, but there is no clapping or any sort of reaction. Many do not come out from the shade of trees or local shops. Suresh, who won the Lok Sabha bypoll in 2013 defeating Kumaraswamy’s wife Anita, reminds the villagers that despite his short stint of seven months as MP, he was instrumental in getting them compensation for cattle which died of the foot and mouth disease.

In Paradarahalli, villagers seem to be divided in their opinion on Kumaraswamy shifting to another constituency. While one section feels Kumaraswamy will always be indebted to Ramanagara and they would vote for JD(S) candidate Prabhakar Reddy, another section feels the former chief minister has betrayed them. Of course, many maintain silence.

Speaking to this reporter, Suresh rubbishes allegations by his detractors that he and his minister-brother D K Shivakumar were running the district as a republic.

“They have nothing to offer to the people and make up by making baseless allegations,” he says.

Some 65 km away, BJP candidate P Muniraju Gowda is campaigning in the interiors of Channapatna taluk along with former Congress MP Tejaswini Ramesh. She joined the saffron party recently. She is campaigning vigorously for Muniraju who is a political novice. Standing on an open jeep at Saragur, Tejaswini urges the villagers to vote for Muniraju and make Narendra Modi the prime minister.

Tejaswini, whose running feud with Shivakumar is well known, says voting for the Congress candidate would make one person an MP. “By voting for Muniraju, you will not only help in getting the son of a farmer elected as MP, but also help the BJP reach the magic number of 272 plus to form the government at the Centre and make Modi the prime minister”, she says.

The village has a sizable number of Vokkaligas who are backing Kumaraswamy. Former minister and local MLA C P Yogeeshwara, who recently joined the Congress, is yet to campaign. But he has distributed pamphlets urging his supporters to back the Congress.
JD(S) candidate Prabhakar Reddy did not campaign on Thursday. When contacted, he said he was meeting party workers in Anekal.