Mysuru to witness battle royale

Mysuru to witness battle royale

The Old Mysuru region, comprising Mysuru, Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts, with 29 Assembly constituencies, is a political hot-spot as it has been the seat of power since even before Independence.

Two representatives from the region have become chief ministers. In the 2013 Assembly elections, Siddaramaiah was projected as the chief ministerial candidate from here. This time around, he is seeking re-election.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and AICC president Rahul Gandhi have completed one round of campaigning, BJP president Amit Shah has already finished two.

Vokkaligas are a majority in Mandya and also in some parts of Mysuru while Lingayats are a majority in parts of Chamarajanagar and Mysuru. Kurubas and Dalits are the deciding factors, besides Muslims playing a crucial role in a few constituencies.

The region is a stronghold of the Janata Dal (Secular) and its leaders, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy. The father-son duo is paying special attention to ensure the defeat of Siddaramaiah and his lieutenant H C Mahadevappa.

BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa, also a native of the region, is aspiring to be the next chief minister and has vowed to defeat Siddaramaiah on his home turf. Siddaramaiah's son Yathindra is expected to contest from his father's present constituency Varuna, where Yeddyurappa has plans to pit his son B Y Vijayendra against him. The chief minister, meanwhile, is testing the political waters in the Chamundeshwari constituency from where he has tasted victory five times.

The BJP, which won just two seats in Mysuru city in 2008 Assembly polls, came a cropper in 2013 with no seats. The party badly needs to win some seats this time. Towards this end, it has inducted former chief minister S M Krishna and former ministers V Srinivas Prasad and C P Yogeshwar.

Apart from a 'rise of the sons' in Varuna, a 'rise of the daughter' is expected in Maddur with Krishna's daughter Shambhavi emerging a strong contender. Mahadevappa's son Sunil Bose, an accused in a bribery case related to illegal mining, is also an aspirant from the Congress.

Siddaramaiah's earlier associates Srinivas Prasad, former minister A H Vishwanath and former confidant G T Deve Gowda have come together to ensure his defeat. Prasad is now with the BJP. The latter two with the JD(S).

The JD(S) and BJP used to have truck in the City Corporation, ZP and TPs to keep the Congress out of power in Mysuru district. Now, the understanding seems to have extended to Chamundeshwari and Varuna Assembly segments. Besides, senior Congress leaders, aspiring to be chief ministers, may undertake secret operations in these segments to realise their dreams.

No local issue

The region does not have a local poll issue. The Cauvery water dispute and the sufferings of farmers, due to drought and inadequate demand and price for their produce, used to be the poll issues earlier. However, following the recent Supreme Court order, the people and farmers are happy that some justice has been done finally.

Moreover, the Cauvery dispute is no more a local issue. It now gets state-wide support, especially in Bengaluru. Further, drought and low-pricing of produce have become the order of the day to the extent that farmer suicides no longer attract the attention of even opposition parties.

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