'Field candidate from Kodagu district'

'Field candidate from Kodagu district'

Representatives from district were elected only twice

As the political parties are gearing up to field their candidates amidst the lobby from ticket aspirants across the State, people and various political party workers in Kodagu district that represents Mysore-Kodagu constituency, have placed the demand to field the candidate from the district, rather fielding an outsider.

This is mainly because of the strong feeling that the intensity of problems faced by Kodagu district can be understood by a candidate who hails from the district, than an outsider like the present MP who hails from Mysore.  In the first parliamentary election post Independence, Kodagu enjoyed getting a MP’s position for the constituency. Then Kodagu was an union territory and it was later merged with Karnataka and gained the status of the ‘district’ during the unification of state in 1956.

As the population of Kodagu was limited, it was then merged with Mangalore constituency. In the 1957 election, Kodagu took shape of Mangalore-Kodagu constituency. Kodagu remained as a part of Mangalore constituency till the 14th Lok Sabha election in 2004.

In the next delimitation, Kodagu district was merged with Mysore constituency and it took the shape of Mysore-Kodagu constituency in 2009.

N Somanna from the Congress won the first parliamentary election in 1952, while C M Poonacha from the Congress won the fourth election of Mangalore Kodagu constituency in 1967. Thereafter, no Kodava or the candidate from Kodagu district got an opportunity to represent the district in the parliament.

Kodagu stands as an exception compared to other districts mainly because of certain unique practices and systems like land ownership (Jamma Bane, Jamma Malai, Paisari, Gomala etc), traditions of consuming liquor in ceremonies, licence to use guns, as a large portion of the district is covered with forest, coffee being the main crop etc. As decisions on all these aspects come under the purview of the Central government, Kodavas are largely dependent on the member of parliament from the constituency to get their demands fulfilled.

Issues triggering the district like the implementation of Kasturirangan report, demand for autonomy status to the district, controlling wild elephant menace are to be resolved in the parliament.

But, unfortunately, as Kodagu has sparse population, it has been represented by the MP from the neighbouring Mysore district, all these years.

Local people are of the opinion that the MPs from Mysore district who also represent Kodagu, are more bothered about the ‘vast’ Mysore district than the ‘small’ Kodagu district.

Local candidate demand

People, party workers and local political leaders have been pressurising the political parties to filed a candidate from Kodagu to represent Mysore-Kodagu constituency.
BJP leader and Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan has shown interest in contesting the Lok Sabha polls.

While, the JD(S) workers are demanding party leaders to give ticket to former minister B A Jeevijaya. However, there seems to be no aspirant from Kodagu to represent the Congress, perhaps because they do not want to get into a tug-of-war with the sitting MP.