Cong's Kalale tries to get a 'hand' on his poll symbol

He was JD(S) candidate in 2 previous elections

Cong's Kalale tries to get a 'hand' on his poll symbol
Congress workers burst firecrackers as they gathered near a local government school at Hunasanaalu village, signalling the arrival of their candidate.

They garlanded their candidate Kalale Keshavamurthy and Congress MP from Chamarajnagar R Dhruvanarayan soon after they arrived.

Keshavamurthy held his hand up showing his hand, the Congress symbol, before interacting with the villagers. “Remember you have to vote for the hand symbol. Vote for the Congress. This time we are winning,” he told them.

Having associated with the Janata Dal and later the JD(S) for over two decades, people recognise Keshavamurthy as a JD(S) man.

He is therefore making it a point during the campaign to remind his supporters that he is now with the Congress. He joined the Congress only a few days before the announcement of byelection to the Nanjangud Assembly constituency.

After a brief interaction with the villagers, he and Dhruvanarayan got into their vehicle and rode to Kudlapura, the next village.Unlike Hunasanaalu, there was none to welcome the candidate in Kudlapura. He stepped out of the vehicle and set out on a padayatra in the scorching sun, showing his hand. Dhruvanarayan also joined him. Many villagers, mostly men, followed them in the padayatra.

Though Kannada and Culture Minister Umashree also arrived at the village in her vehicle, she did not join them in the padayatra.

State Congress president G Parameshwara too was scheduled to campaign with Keshavamurthy in these villages, but he did not turn up. Earlier in the day, Parameshwara visited the party office at Nanjangud town.

When the villagers explained to Keshavamurthy about acute drinking water problem, he listened to them patiently and expressed hope that it will soon rain.

He, however, chose not to approach women sitting with their empty pots in front of a borewell all along the road where he went on padayatra. People carrying water pots is a common scene across the parched hinterland of Mysuru district.

“People have responded positively. They want development and hence decided to support the Congress. Drinking water is a problem not only in this constituency but across the state. It is because of severe drought,” Keshavamurthy told Deccan Herald.

Sixty two-year old Keshavamurthy is a native of Kalale village, six km from Nanjangud town. He started his political career in 1980s and was a follower of former minister the late D T Jayakumar. He unsuccessfully contested Assembly elections from Nanjangud as a JD(S) candidate in 2008 and 2013.

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