Chamaraja constituency may see new generation leaders

Chamaraja constituency may see new generation leaders

Will new generation leaders emerge in the youngest Assembly constituency in the city?

With two major parties almost decided on their candidates for the Chamaraja segment, the rush is heavy in the BJP for the party ticket. However, for most of them, this would be the first election, while the rest are yet to see success.

With three-time Corporator H S Nandeesh Preetham, son of four-time MLA H S Shankaralinge Gowda, also seeking a BJP ticket, the
constituency may open the gates for new generation leaders.

Among the three constituencies in the city - Krishnaraja (KR), Narasimharaja (NR) and Chamaraja (CR), all named after the scions of the Wadiyar kings of the Yadu dynasty - CR is the youngest, which was formed in 1978, while the remaining two exist since the first general elections in 1952, despite some modifications in the 2004 delimitation.

Bastion of Vokkaligas

CR is unique in having sent only Vokkaliga representatives to the Assembly, so far. Thus, it is deemed to be an undeclared Vokkaliga reserved constituency.

Out of the total 11 elections, held so far, the Congress has won only thrice. The BJP succeeded in registering a victory in 1994, through H S Shankaralinge Gowda, a rebel from the Janata Parivar, since its split in 1989. He was a rebel (Independent) Janata Parivar candidate in 1989 also. The BJP managed to hold the constituency up to 2013 with four continuous victories for Shankaralinge Gowda - for 19 years. Shankaralinge Gowda lost to Vasu of the Congress in 2013 as a JD(S) candidate. The Janata Parivar has not won since the split in 1989, though the Janata Party had won four elections earlier.

Sitting MLA Vasu seems to have confirmed his ticket from the Congress as he is a close confidant of former chief minister M Veerappa Moily, also chairman of the KPCC Election Manifesto Committee. The JD(S) is facing rebellion as it has already declared its candidate, former VC K S Rangappa. Rebel JD(S) candidate Harish Gowda has declared his candidature. He is yet to decide on a party or on contesting as an Independent. Thus, the race for a ticket is witnessed only in the BJP. Besides, those who have identified with the BJP since a few years, new entrants like former MUDA chairman C Basavegowda, who has been in the JD(S) and the Congress earlier, are also vying for the ticket.

Long list of BJP aspirants

The list of ticket aspirants in the BJP is quite long. Besides, Basavegowda, and Preetham, BJP city president Dr B H Manjunath, district Raitha Morcha president Prasanna N Gowda, former MUDA chairman L Nagendra, and ex-MLC D Madegowda. While Nagendra had unsuccessfully contested on a BJP ticket in 2013, D Madegowda had lost as a Janata Dal candidate in 1994. Madegowda was with the Congress for over a decade and was an MLC from the party. Basavegowda was also a Janata Dal candidate in 1989 and 1994.

Since his first election to the Mysuru City Corporation in 2001, Preetham had been following his father in politics. However, when his father Shankaralinge Gowda joined the JD(S) a few months before the 2013 election, Preetham remained in the BJP.

The MLAs who have represented the Chamaraja constituency so far are: L Puttaswamy (1978, Janata Party), B N Kengegowda (1978 byelection, Congress), H Kempegowda (1983, Janata Party), Kempiregowda (1985, Janata Party), P M Chikkaboraiah (1986 byelection, Janata Party), K Harsha Kumar Gowda (1989, Congress), H S Shankaralinge Gowda (1994, 1999, 2004 and 2008, BJP) and Vasu (2013, Congress).

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