Riding on sympathy wave, Mohana Kumari scores thumping victory in Gundlupet

Riding on sympathy wave, Mohana Kumari scores thumping victory in Gundlupet

With the election of M C Mohana Kumari, widow of the late minister H S Mahadev Prasad, it has once again been proved that sympathy can be ‘encashed’.

It has become a common practice among all political parties across the nation to field either the widow or the children of people’s representatives. Thus, hereditary politics (read rule) is gradually being legitimised. It is close on the lines of how surviving members of government employees are provided employment on compensatory grounds, albeit, commensurate to their educational qualifications.

Mohana Kumari has emerged as the fourth MLA of the Gundlupet Assembly ever since the first election in 1952. She is also the second woman MLA in the constituency, a region where women hardly contest polls even as independents.

Her predecessor K S Nagarathnamma, who represented the constituency for seven terms, went on to become the first woman Speaker of the Assembly.

Initially, the Congress had plans to encash on the sympathy wave and the recent development works initiated by late Mahadev Prasad. BJP candidate C S Niranjan Kumar also sought votes on sympathetic grounds by citing the four defeats in his family, including two defeats of his father Shivamallappa.

Congress leaders had to likewise modify their strategy. Subsequently various other modes to seek votes were explored and plans were executed with the help of various sections of the society.

Niranjan had given a tough fight in the 2008 and 2013 polls to Mahadev Prasad while in the 1994 polls, Shivamallappa was Prasad’s nearest rival. Gundlupet is one among the constituencies that have the highest number of Lingayat community people in the state. Hence, it was expected that a campaign by former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa would help Niranjan.

However, the BJP’s calculations seem to have got affected as Power Minister D K Shivakumar, who was in-charge of the constituency on behalf of the Congress, took up extensive campaigning here.

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