HDMP polls: Crematorium worker, 22-year-old in fray

Crematorium worker, entrepreneur with foreign degree in fray for Hubballi-Dharwad local body polls

A painter-cum-cobbler is also in the battle for the local body elections

Husanappa Vajjannavar (R), and the left one is of Kishan Belgavi (L). Credit: Special Arrangement

When seasoned politicians, their family members, and those having some links with local politics for several years are being considered as prominent candidates in the Hubballi-Dharwad Mahanagara Palike (HDMP) elections, a few of those who are not just new to politics, but also come from a unique background, are testing the waters this time.

Husanappa Vajjannavar, who is working at the Heggeri crematorium for the last 17 years, has contested as an independent candidate from Ward No 52.

Known for his fight to develop the crematorium and to keep it clean, he also earned praise for burning and burying the bodies of Covid-19 victims.

This time, he has contested in the HDMP polls, seeking people's support to get an opportunity for the development of the ward which also includes the crematorium.

"People in the area asked me to contest in the elections, as they are fed up with lack of development. They know my service at the crematorium and my concern. I want to develop basic amenities including roads and drainage system in the ward," 51-year-old Vajjannavar told DH.

Young entrepreneur

After taking up service activities during the Covid-induced lockdown, 28-year-old Kishan Belgavi of Shirur Park has now become an independent candidate from Ward No 48. He holds an MSc in Enterprise from the University of Leeds Business School in the United Kingdom.

After working with Amazon, he is now running a modular furniture company in Hubballi.

"My friends and I helped the needy persons during the lockdown, and I also worked as a volunteer for the district administration's war room. People want an enthusiastic representative who responds to their woes. I have been campaigning for the last nine days, and have seen people preferring a change this time," he noted.

Painter-cum-cobbler

A resident of Anand Nagar, Ramu Khanpet is a building painter and a cobbler too. He has contested from Ward No 33 as the candidate of Uttama Prajakeeya Party (UPP). He is often seen engaged in door-to-door campaigning in 'painter's dress' itself.

"I have contested after getting a reference from the people, and I want decisions regarding the development works in the ward to be taken by the people themselves. I am also informing people about the ideals of the UPP," Ramu says.

Young girl

Rohini Somanakatti is the candidate of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from Ward No 39, and her age is just 22. She is campaigning briskly, and voters are expressing curiosity about her decision to plunge into an election at such a young age.

"My father works at a small shop, and I know how difficult it is to pursue higher education for children of common people. The free education model in Delhi inspired me, and I joined the AAP. In addition to good civic amenities, job creation is also essential here," said Rohini, who is also a BCom graduate.

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