Vokkaligas will bat CM in Chamundeshwari segment: Cong leaders

Vokkaligas will bat CM in Chamundeshwari segment: Cong leaders

In the wake of the reports that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is finding it difficult in Chamundeshwari Assembly constituency, Vokkaliga-Congress leaders from the constituency held a press meet to assert that Siddaramaiah is beyond caste considerations and that the Vokkaligas will not vote on just caste lines.

Siddaramaiah toured the villages in the constituency, under Mysuru taluk, from last Thursday, up to Monday, and also held closed-door meetings with the leaders and representatives from the constituency at a private resort near Bandipur forests, Gundlupet taluk, Chamarajanagar district, to assess the mindset of the people. Sitting MLA G T Devegowda, a close confidant of Siddaramaiah till he left the JD(S) in 2006, is the JD(S) nominee in the constituency. Siddaramaiah now represents the neighbouring Varuna constituency.

Mavinahalli Siddegowda, who had unsuccessfully contested from the constituency in 1989, said that since the first election till date, only four Vokkaligas - K Shivananjegowda (1952 unanimous), K Puttaswamy (1957, 1962, 1967 and 1972), M Sathyanarayana (2008) and G T Devegowda (2013) - have represented Chamundeshwari as MLAs. "Siddaramaiah himself has won five (1983, 1985, 1994, 2004 and 2006) out of seven elections. So, the rumours spread by the vested interests that the Vokkaligas would not vote for the Congress, especially for Siddaramaiah, are out of malice. The voters of the constituency, including Vokkaligas, will choose the best candidate to represent them," he said.

In response to former prime minister H D Deve Gowda's statement that the political career of Siddaramaiah started in Chamundeshwari and it will end there, Siddegowda said that it is not in the hands of Gowda, but the voters will decide.

'Land for Vokkaligas'

KPCC member Narasegowda said that people know the contributions of Siddaramaiah to the constituency, so they will take a decision on the basis of the performance of the candidates so far. "Despite stiff opposition from the people of Mandya district, Siddaramaiah took up the works on the Varuna canal that irrigates lands in Mysuru taluk. He sanctioned the land for the taluk Vokkaligara Sangha and requested then MLA M Sathyanarayana to release the funds for the construction of the building. No Vokkaliga chief minister thought of celebrating Kempegowda Jayanti, but, Siddaramaiah initiated the annual celebrations. He named the Bengaluru International Airport after Kempegowda," he said.

"There is no doubt that G T Devegowda strived for the victory of Siddaramaiah in the 1983 polls. But, Siddaramaiah also strived for the growth of Devegowda in the cooperative movement as well as in politics. If the people of Chamundeshwari want their MLA to become chief minister, they will vote for Siddaramaiah," he said.

Former MLA Sathyanarayana said that Devegowda neglected the development of the constituency since five years, due to his personal issues. "However, Siddaramaiah sanctioned works worth Rs 400 crore. The Anandur lift irrigation project provides water to 28 lakes under Ilval hobli. Ilval village has got underground drainage facility," he said.

Responding to the comments of H D Deve Gowda, he said, has he purchased the constituency to decide the future of Siddaramaiah in Chamundeshwari? "We have seen what Deve Gowda can do in the 2006 polls itself," he said.

Former chairperson of Karnataka State Women's Commission Manjula Manasa said that Beti Bachao, Beti Padao is just a slogan for the Centre, but Siddaramaiah has implemented it in spirit. "From the birth of a girl child to the woman giving birth to a child, the government has various schemes. Besides, the state government has announced free education to girl children up to post-graduation," she said.

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