Netas chant development mantra

Puttaraju promises Cauvery water, Ramya schools and Shivalingaiah reservoir

In the run up to the Lok Sabha election, candidates of the major political parties in the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency are chanting the cliched development mantra.

Manjunath, proprietor of Chaitra Medicals in Kowdle village, Maddur taluk, said:
 “Development is a mirage. If the politicians really meant development, the whole nation, including my village, would have developed by now.”

Dividends

He said, “What politicians mean by development is construction works, which pay them rich dividends — either in the form of money or power, or both.”

Rajani of Chandana Beauty Parlour in Maddur said, while Ramya has launched a lone battle amidst all odds in her own party, C S Puttaraju of the JD(S) was trying to encash on the popularity of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda. BJP candidate B Shivalingaiah was hoping to ride on the Modi wave.

M G N Shankar, promoter of MGN Groups, a security, house-keeping and outsourcing agency in Mandya, said: “In Mandya, all candidates of major political parties are Vokkaligas and a majority of the voters belong to the same community. So, division of votes on the basis of caste has little relevance. Even top leaders, in all major parties, belong to the majority community”.

“Vokkaliga votes are distributed among all parties and candidates. Caste calculations apply only for voters from other communities. Finally, the goodwill of the candidate is what matters,” he said.

However, in separate interviews to Deccan Herald, the candidates shared their views on development of the constituency.

Public transport

Sitting MP and Congress candidate Ramya said, her priority would to improve public transport as aside from giving a boost to industrial development in the region, if she gets re-elected.

As a majority of the people in the constituency depend on agriculture for their livelihood, a cluster of industries that can make good use of the agriculture produce may be planned. A Mega Food Park, on the lines of IT Park, may be setup along with cold storage facilities, she said.

If the region develops industrially, youth will get jobs locally. So, migration of people to bigger cities, in search of work, will come down.

Her another pet subject is education. She said, quality education should be available to all students, irrespective of their family background. “I have already got a Kendriya Vidyalaya sanctioned for Mandya district. 

We need a few more such schools,” she said.

Speaking about factionalism in the Congress, Ramya said, factions need not bother the voters. “They know how politics is. They also know me. They trust me as I am with them since I was elected as MP in the by-election. So, they will vote for me,” she said.

Infrastructure

JD(S) candidate, a former MLA, C S Puttaraju has plans to improve infrastructure like roads, schools and colleges. However, his stress area is water. 

He talked about getting an additional 50 TMC feet of Cauvery River water for the State, which will help farmers in Mandya, Mysore, Chamarajanagar and Hassan districts.

“If the people vote for JD(S) candidates like me, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda will get more bargaining power. 

We will prevail upon the Central government to convince Tamil Nadu to allow Karnataka to construct a dam at Mekadatu. The water that joins the sea after the reservoirs are filled, during monsoon, can be stored and used during crisis,” he said.

BJP candidate, former chairman and secretary of Karnataka Pollution Control Board and vice-president of Karnataka Rajya Vokkaligara Sangha, B Shivalingaiah said, he has plans to tread the middle path in development.

“Villages need to be developed on the basis of Gandhian principles. However, huge projects on the lines of Nehruvian vision need to be implemented without affecting the people concerned. 

Agriculture produce can be marketed all over the world, if processed well. A lot of jobs can be created if food processing and related industries come up in the region,” he said.

He also stresses on quality education. He said: “Apart from providing quality higher education, we need to impart skills to ‘not so intelligent students’. Skilled labourers are in great demand, but scarce. Skills will make a person independent,” he said.

He also has plans for a reservoir across the River Cauvery at Mekadatu. “To convince Tamil Nadu to allow Karnataka to build a new dam, we need a stable and strong government at the Centre,” he said.

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