Tinsel town women eye KR Assembly segment

Tinsel town women eye KR Assembly segment

Except for the late Muktharaunnisa Begum, who was elected from Narasimharaja (NR) Assembly constituency in the year 1985, no woman has represented the city - the other two constituencies being Krishnaraja (KR) and Chamaraja (CR) under Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) limits - so far.

However, the KR segment, earlier known as Mysore City South, and later Mysuru City, seems to be attracting women, especially film stars, for the upcoming polls. It has to be mentioned that multi-lingual actor and advocate Malavika Avinash is touted to be a BJP candidate since a few months. Her husband Avinash is a native of Mysuru.

Now, the name of Roopa Iyer, an actor and multi-faceted person, is doing the rounds for the KR constituency from Karnataka Pragnavanthara Janata Paksha (KPJP) of actor director Upendra. Roopa Iyer is an acclaimed actor and director herself. She is also a dancer, choreographer, social activist and has done films on various social problems. Her husband Gowtham Srivatsa, a music director, is also a native of Mysuru. Her grandmother's house is also in the KR constituency itself.

Roopa Iyer has identified herself with the KPJP and said that party president Upendra has to take a decision on her candidature. However, she has toured four constituencies of Mysuru, including KR, NR and CR, for a study, which would be submitted to KPJP.

M Premakumari Jadeda, who had accused former minister Ramdas of cheating, had announced that she would contest on Indian New Congress Party (INCP) ticket from KR constituency, earlier. However, now, she claims that the time is not ripe for her political entry and that her parents are not happy.

In KR constituency, the sitting MLA M K Somasekhar (Congress), who is also a close confidant of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, is all set to seek re-election. Somasekhar belongs to the backward Kuruba community. But, in the other two main parties, there are multiple aspirants.

In the BJP, the visible aspirants are former minister S A Ramdas, H V Rajeev, who was KJP candidate in the 2013 polls, BJP state executive committee member Srivathsa, Phaneesh and S M Shivaprakash. Besides, Malavika's name is doing the rounds. Her husband Avinash is a native of Mysuru. Except for Shivaprakash, all belong to Brahmin community.

In the JD(S), Corporators K V Mallesh and V Shylendra and a few new entrants are lobbying for the ticket. While Mallesh belongs to the Lingayat-Veerashaiva community, Shylendra is a Dalit.

The KR constituency was a small constituency with a sizeable Brahmin population since its formation in the year 1952. However, its area and population increased with the delimitation in the year 2008. Out of the 15 elections, including a by-election, the Congress has won seven, the BJP four, Janata Party twice, JD(S) once and Independence once.

H Gangadharan of Veerashaiva community and Somasekhar of Kuruba community have been elected twice each. Sahukar Chennaiah and Venkatalingaiah were Vokkaligas. However, it is like an undeclared Brahmin constituency as the community leaders were elected in nine elections.

The MLAs of the KR constituency, so far, are: B Narayanaswamy (Congress, 1952), K S Suryanarayana Rao (Congress, 1957, 1962), Sahukar Chennaiah (Independent, 1967), D Suryanarayana (Congress, 1972), Venkatalingaiah (Congress, 1974 by-election), H Gangadharan (Janata Party, 1978, BJP, 1983), Vedantha Hemmige (Janata Party, 1985), K N Somasundaram (Congress, 1989), S A Ramdas (BJP, 1994, 1999 and 2008) and M K Somasekhar [JD(S), 2004, Congress, 2013].

Women for NR

According to political observers, this is the right time for women to enter the fray. "Women should not wait for quota. They should contest from general constituencies. In Narasimharaja constituency, where there is a sizeable Muslim population, women candidates can be an advantage. As the candidates of the JD(S) (Sandesh Swamy) and the SDPI (Abdul Majeed) have already been almost declared, the Congress and the BJP can field women," they said.

"If the BJP can field a woman candidate with a clarity on ideologies and principles, who can also connect with Muslim women, the party has good chances. At a time when Muslim youth are swayed away by fundamentalist ideologies, their mothers and sisters are worried. So, a woman leader with clear vision can capture their imagination. The opposition of the BJP to the triple talaq would also act in the party's favour," analysts said.

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