Fourth bypoll in Hunsur Assembly segment

D Devaraj Urs

Hunsur Assembly constituency, which was a stronghold of the Congress up to 1983, is facing its fourth bypoll so far. However, none of them was due to the death of any sitting MLA.

The Hunsur segment has largely remained undisturbed, area-wise, since the first election in 1952, except for one term when it was a dual-member constituency along with HD Kote in the 1957 poll. The Assembly segment is the same as the jurisdiction of Hunsur taluk.

Interestingly, the first bypoll, held in 1972, was to facilitate the election of then chief minister D Devaraj Urs to become a people’s representative. He was the first chief minister from the old Mysuru region and the bypoll facilitated his continuation.

As the Congress split in 1969, Urs had the responsibility to lead the splinter group — Congress (I) of Indira Gandhi — in the 1972 election in the state. Thus, he had not contested the 1972 general poll. When the Congress (I) won a majority, he was sworn as chief minister. D Kariyappa Gowda, the MLA from Hunsur, resigned to make way for Urs.

The second bypoll also has an Urs connect. It was held due to the resignation of Urs’ daughter Chandraprabha Urs in 1991. Chandraprabha, who won the 1989 poll as a Congress candidate, resigned in 1991 to become MP from Mysuru Lok Sabha constituency. In the bypoll in 1991, S Chikkamadu, also of the Congress, emerged victorious.

The 1998 bypoll was similar to the 1991 bypoll. It was facilitated by the resignation of BJP MLA C H Vijayashankar, to become MP in 1998. It was the debut Assembly poll for G T Devegowda of the Janata Dal, which he won. 

The bypoll scheduled for December 5 will see a triangular fight between A H Vishwanath of the BJP, ex-MLA H P Manjunath of the Congress and Devarahalli Somasekhar of the JD(S).

Vishwanath, who was elected as JD(S) MLA, is seeking re-election on a BJP ticket. Interestingly, two-term MLA Manjunath is the son of H N Prem Kumar, who was defeated as Congress candidate in two polls — 1983 and 1998 — the latter being a bypoll.

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