It's family politics in Lingayat-dominant Gundlupet segment

Gundlupet Assembly constituency, which has seen 14 elections, so far, will once again be witness to family politics. The constituency has given a seasoned politician, the first woman Speaker K S Nagarathnamma, to the state. Nagarathnamma represented the constituency seven times.

She passed away in 1993. Cooperation and Sugar Minister H S Mahadev Prasad, who was defeated by her twice earlier, got a strong hold of the constituency and was successful in retaining his position as MLA for five terms from 1994 to 2013.

By-elections is necessitated with the passing away of Mahadev Prasad now. The Congress party, after considering various options, decided to field M C Mohanakumari (Geetha Mahadev Prasad), wife of the late minister for the bypolls.

Before Prasad entered politics, his father H N Srikanta Shetty had unsuccessfully contested against Nagarathnamma twice (1978, 1983). Now, his daughter-in-law is contesting the bypolls.

C S Niranjan Kumar, who had given a tough fight to Prasad during the elections in 2008 and 2013 has entered the fray to test his luck again on a BJP ticket.

Niranjan Kumar also has a political background. His father Chowdahalli Shivamallappa was a Congressman earlier and had contested against Prasad in the year 1994 and 1999, but was defeated on both occasion.

After Prasad quit JD(S) and joined the Congress in the year 2008, Shivamallappa quit Congress and joined the BJP.

Lingayat dominance
Lingayat voters dominate the Gundlupet constituency, followed by Scheduled Caste, Uppara, Nayaka, Kuruba and minority community voters.

The constituency, which was represented by just three persons, H K Shivarudrappa, K S Nagarathnamma and H S Mahadev Prasad in the last 14 elections, are Lingayats. The bypoll candidates for the Congress and BJP — Mohanakumari and Niranjan Kumar — too represent the same community.
DH News Service

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