BJP on the backfoot due to Siddu's guarantees, Prasad's 'Congress tilt'

The election revolves around the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former chief minister B S Yediyurappa, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the five guarantees of the Congress government.
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 23:20 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 23:20 IST

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The voters of Chamarajanagar Lok Sabha segment, especially of Chamarajanagar district, expect the one who would represent them to help in getting rid of the ‘backward district’ tag.

The election revolves around the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former chief minister B S Yediyurappa, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the five guarantees of the Congress government.

BJP’s alliance partner JD(S) has no strong base, but its cadre has gelled well with their BJP counterparts. 

The Siddaramaiah factor is crucial as his Varuna Assembly segment is under Chamarajanagar Lok Sabha constituency.

Backward tag 

Even though the district, which shares borders with both Tamil Nadu and Kerala, has a huge potential for tourism and trade, forest areas and proximity to Mysuru are deemed to be deterrents.

Industries in Chamarajanagar district are a rarity. But industries in Nanjangud Assembly segment are thriving. 

While BJP candidate S Balaraj, former MLA of Kollegal, is a confidant of former chief minister B S Yediyurappa, Congress candidate Sunil Bose is the son of Social Welfare Minister H C Mahadevappa and is solidly backed by Siddaramaiah.

Political observer Bhagyalakshmi said the BJP organised a Modi rally in Mysuru recently, to counter the intense politicking and campaigning by Siddaramaiah.

7 Congress MLAs an advantage

Bhagyalakshmi said, with seven out of the eight Assembly segments under Chamarajanagar LS segment represented by Congress MLAs and the Hanur MLA of the JD(S) being a Siddaramaiah supporter, there seems to be a conducive climate for  Congress.

“However, some of the BJP nominees in the last Assembly poll lost due to their own faults. Besides, there are different voting patterns for Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. The nationwide Modi wave cannot be neglected. Except for reaching out to leaders of various communities, BJP does not seem to have a concrete strategy,” she said.

Incumbent MP V Srinivas Prasad of the BJP does not have people’s sympathy, because his performance was not on expected lines over the past five years.

The Congress candidate and Siddaramaiah wooing Prasad big time does not bode well for BJP. He is perceived to be a towering leader of the Scheduled Castes. Two of his sons-in-law were aspirants of the BJP ticket. But they were not considered. Thus, Prasad has turned hostile to BJP. The saffron party leaders are now in damage control mode and are reaching out to him.

Rajanna, a real-estate dealer at Meghalapura under Varuna Assembly segment, said they don’t know much about Sunil Bose, but for them Siddaramaiah is important.

Gangadhar, a shopkeeper in T Narsipur, said their MLA H C Mahadevappa is inaccessible and had not undertaken any development work. “If Mahadevappa is like this, what can we expect from his son?” he said. 

Kollegal Taxi Drivers’ Association president Chinnaswamy said, neither ex-MLA N Mahesh of BJP nor incumbent Congress MLA A R Krishnamurthy were good.

“We miss past Congress MLA S Jayanna. Balaraj is also from Kollegal, but he is a party-hopper. But we want to strengthen the central government with our vote for BJP,” he said.

Venkatamma, a domestic worker in Hanur, said she had been voting for Congress for over 30 years and she would not change. “I get all benefits under the guarantees for women,” she said.

Mahadevaswamy, a middleman in Gundlupet APMC yard, said former MLA C S Niranjan Kumar was defeated in 2023 because of his own faults. “He misused the police and other government officials. He did not help common people. So, the anger is not against BJP, but against the ex-MLA,” he said.

Basavaraju, a farmer in Nanjangud, said Congress MLA Darshan Dhruvanarayan was not seen with the people since his election. “The anger will reflect in the voting pattern for the LS elections,” he said.

‘Varuna neglected’

Narasimhamurthy, a teacher from Kadakola, said Siddaramaiah, the Varuna MLA, had disappointed people of the segment.

“Neither new works nor repairs have been undertaken over the last one year. The condition of roads and drainage is worsening. Public anger will be reflected in the polls,” he said.

Published 16 April 2024, 23:20 IST

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