Muniyappa confident of bucking anti-incumbency

Muniyappa confident of bucking anti-incumbency

Muniyappa confident of bucking anti-incumbency

Union Minister K H Muniyappa is a calm and confident man on the campaign trail. Having represented the Kolar constituency in Parliament six times in a row, the exuberance is only too obvious to expect.

This year’s campaign only looks like a force multiplier for the seasoned campaigner. He has gone about poaching leaders from other parties to make sure it is seventh time unbeaten for him.

Former BJP minister S N Krishnaiah Setty is already on board the Congress, sure of bringing a large chunk of the votes in his support base in Malur to the kitty of the Grand Old Party. Independent MLA Varthur Prakash threw his weight behind Muniyappa on Thursday.

But there are also Muniyappa’s share of doomsayers. They point out that there could be double incumbency working against him.

One born out of the fact that he has kept himself away from the constituency for most of the present term. Two, for the government at the Centre.

But Muniyappa is not going to take any of that. Banking on the work undertaken by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government and influential local leaders loyal to him, Muniyappa is sure of sailing through the election summer. He does not forget to mention the “bouquet of gifts” he brought to the constituency from the Centre.

They include work on the rail coach factory, that kicked off in Srinivaspur recently.
“I have worked for the constituency, and people will vote for me and the Congress party,” says the minister, with an air of certainty.

At a poll meeting in Malur on Thursday, Krishnaiah Setty had managed to collect a decent crowd of 1,500 to 2,000. His network of supporters is intact, despite his defeat in the last Assembly elections as an Independent. Muniyappa didn’t seem to mind the limelight that Krishnaiah Setty was getting.

Shrugging off the ‘tainted’ tag, Setty says his constituents still love him. He has got one ZP member and eight members of the TP to change their allegiance to the Congress from the BJP.

The JD(S), on its part, is projecting its candidate K Kesava as an alternative to Muniyappa, to somehow break the latter’s ‘stranglehold’ on Kolar, due to what is seen as a ‘failure to field a formidable opponent’ against him by any party.

The political greenhorn is making every effort to connect with the voters, moving from the limits of one Gram Panchayat to another, as party workers build the tempo by beating drums and bursting crackers.

Kesava believes that the ‘trust deficit’ among the people in Muniyappa will boost his chances.

“I have not entered the fray to make money or for fame. I want to fulfil the long-pending aspirations of the people, not catered to during the Congress regime,” the realtor adds.