Karnataka polls: 2 rivals holding Srinivasapur fort alternately

Srinivasapur shares a border with the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh
Last Updated 05 May 2023, 22:32 IST

Srinivasapur, the Assembly constituency in Kolar has a unique trend of alternately electing two MLAs over the last nine elections. Save for 2018 where incumbent K R Ramesh Kumar won for the second time in a row, this constituency has always swung between Kumar and his rival G K Venkatasiva Reddy.

This time too, Kumar and Reddy are facing each other.

Beginning from the sixth Assembly in 1978 and until the 14th Assembly in 2013, both Reddy and Kumar have alternately held power here. These candidates have driven the votes more than the parties they represented. The duo have managed to clinch victory despite them shifting parties. For instance, in the 11th Assembly election in 1999, Reddy won as a Congress candidate. By the next election, Kumar, who was in the JD(S) before, was in the Congress and won. In the election following it, Reddy was in JD(S) and he snatched the polls from Kumar. The BJP has not found a presence here until now.

Srinivasapur shares a border with the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. The constituency has a significant population of Reddy-Vokkaligas and Muslims, followed by the SC, ST community. Ramesh Kumar, a Brahmin, has managed to come to power here six times. "This itself shows that caste doesn't matter here. The belt is feudal and the regime of these leaders has been marked with both admiration and fear. No other candidate has found space here to grow," said Kolar-based civic activist and farmer T V Ramesh.

Breaking the trend in 2018, Kumar won for the second time in a row. Reddy attributed this to Congress' campaign against the JD(S) for being the 'BJP's B-team'.

However, according to locals, the KC Valley project which gave hope for irrigation to farmers was among the reasons that aided Kumar to come back to power. Nonetheless, dissatisfaction has set in about the quality of water among a section of the farmers.

With both leaders into their seventies now, Reddy claimed this was his last election.

Kumar downplayed his rival. "Reddy is incidental. I am not fighting him in the election. The fight is between vested interests and people who seek a change. People vote for infrastructure," he told DH.

(Published 05 May 2023, 19:25 IST)

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