Campaigning is all about bashing Gowda for this Congress leader

Campaigning is all about bashing  Gowda for this Congress leader

Congress candidate in Hassan parliamentary constituency A Manju, it seems, believes that bashing the first family of the JD(S) would fetch him votes. And that is exactly what he has been doing in this fiefdom of H D Deve Gowda, whose family has monopolised Hassan politics for over four decades.

Whether it is padayatra or a roadshow or a public rally, Manju, the Congress MLA from Arakulgud, does not lose any opportunity to hit out at the former prime minister and his family members - MLA H D Revanna and H D Balakrishna. However, he is not targeting H D Kumaraswamy.

It may appear to be a usual political badmouthing, but for him it is a tactical move to consolidate what his close aides call strong anti-Gowda sentiment in the constituency. However, he is not talking about his strengths but, speaks on what his party may do.

When he addressed a moderate crowd at Shravanabelagola on Friday to begin his day’s campaign, Manju declared: “This is the last election for the JD(S). The party will perish with this election and the defeat of Deve Gowda is imminent,” evoking cheers from the crowd.

He does not mince words in attacking the Gowda family. “You made him (Gowda) MLA, MP, chief minister and the prime minister. But, he has not solved a simple problem like drinking water shortage. This is because he does only those things that benefit his family,” he alleged. Interestingly, Manju was accompanied by the party leaders, most of whom were one-time staunch followers of Gowda, including former MLA C S Putte Gowda.

Harping about ‘lapses’

As he went on padayatra on the busy thoroughfares of the town, he went harping on about one or the other “lapses” by the sitting MP and urged people not to repeat the mistake of voting to the JD(S). “Madam, do you get proper drinking water supply” he asked a woman standing in front of her house.

When she answered in the negative, Manju said: “this is his (Gowda) contribution. So vote for the Congress.”
He loses no opportunity to list out problems such as acute scarcity of drinking water, lack of irrigation facility, widespread damage to coconut plantation as well as potato crop in Hassan district and squarely blames Gowda and his family for all the ills.

At the same time, Manju refers to various welfare programmes launched by the Siddaramaiah government and makes it a point to mention about Anna Bhagya scheme and Yettinahole project for which foundation stone was laid recently, all the while heaping praises on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, the political bête noire of Gowda. After Shravanabelagola, Manju campaigned in Hiresave and Channarayapatna.

While Gowda is yet to start his full-fledged campaign in the constituency, Manju has already completed one round of electioneering. Now he wants to cover all hobli centres once again.

He is also making time to attend weddings and death ceremonies of people, especially his supporters, on the sidelines of the campaign.

Lacklustre campaign by BJP

On the other end, BJP candidate C H Vijayashankar, who reluctantly entered the fray, appeared to be conducting a lacklustre campaign. None of the prominent party leaders accompanied him in his roadshow conducted at various villages near Holenarasipura, where people belonging to Kuruba community are in sizable number. As there were hardly any people in these villages, he did not stop his vehicle anywhere.

He finally stepped out of his vehicle at Agrahara Gate and addressed a small gathering of people standing under a dilapidated bus shelter. He spoke of the Modi wave and the need for bringing in a change in government at the Centre.

“Vote for Bharat Maata and the BJP. Modi has to become the prime minister and people of Hassan should support him,” he stated.

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