BJP pulling out all stops to open account in Mandya

BJP pulling out all stops to open account in Mandya

Mandya is considered the sugar bowl of Karnataka. But for the BJP, the electoral experience has been rather bitter here: The party has not been able to win a single seat in any of past Assembly polls in the Vokkaliga-dominant district.

The BJP is pulling out all the stops to open its account in coming elections in Mandya. The party is trying to make best use of the factional feud in the rival parties to achieve its goal.

Vokkaliga leader and Channapatna MLA C P Yogeeshwara, who recently joined the BJP, has been entrusted with the task of ensuring victory for the party in the district. He has been trying to woo disgruntled leaders in the Congress and the JD(S), besides farmers' leaders, sources in the BJP said.

He recently managed to get influential leader of the farming community K S Nanjunde Gowda to the party. Induction of Nanjunde Gowda has come as a shot in the arm for the party. Gowda, had unsuccessfully contested from Srirangapatana for six times. And in 2004, he lost the election by a slender margin of about 1,500 votes.

The BJP has drawn up a strategy to win at least three of the seven constituencies in Mandya: Srirangapatana, Malavalli and Maddur. While Nanjunde Gowda is most likely to be the party's candidate from Srirangapatana, former minister B Somashekar or retired IAS officer K Shivaram are among those considered for Malavalli (SC Reserve). Yogeeshwara himself is planning to contest from Maddur.

The Congress is riddled with many factions in Mandya. Though senior leader S M Krishna quit the Congress and joined the BJP, many of his followers have remained in the Congress. But they are feeling sidelined. Actor-turned-politicians, M H Ambareesh and Ramya, are at loggerheads. Besides, a section of party leaders is upset with the decision to induct rebel JD(S) MLAs, N Chaluvarayaswamy (Nagamangala) and Ramesh Bandesidde Gowda (Srirangapatna).

The JD(S), which has been rattled by the move of its two MLAs quitting the party, is looking for alternative leaders. In some constituencies, the party is facing the problem of plenty with too many leaders aspiring to contest the polls.Grapevine in the political circles is that top BJP leaders have assured Yogeeshwara that he will be rewarded with a ministerial berth if he helps the party open its account in Mandya district. Yogeeshwara, who who is known for his political astuteness, is said to have struck a deal with BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa in this regard.

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