BSY goes all out to win first poll in native taluk

An advocate by profession, JD (S)' Devaraj is the most educated among the main contestants.

For the first time, not just in Krishnaraja (KR) Pet Assembly constituency, but in the entire Mandya district, the BJP is contesting a poll seriously. Yediyurappa is a native of Bookanakere in KR Pet taluk, but he emerged as a political leader in Shivamogga district.

Retaining the seat is important for both the JD(S) and Narayan Gowda, as party and candidate, respectively.

In the district, the heartland of Vokkaliga politics, where Congress and Janata Parivar have been traditional rivals, BJP is investing all its resources. The JD(S) has an upper hand across the district since two decades.

While the BJP is making all efforts to open its account in the district, through the KR Pet segment, former MLA K B Chandrasekhar and JD(S) strongman B L Devaraj are giving a tough fight to turncoat Narayana Gowda, who resigned as JD(S) MLA, to join BJP.

It is a characteristic of the district that, except for the SC reserved constituency of Malavalli, candidates of all major parties, usually, belong to the dominant Vokkaliga community.

Initially, the mood was dull in the BJP camp, following the resignation of Narayana Gowda and his disqualification by the Speaker.

However, since the nomination of Narayana Gowda as BJP candidate, the hurling of footwear by a few JD(S) workers, change in BJP poll incharge for the segment to Dr C N Ashwathnarayan, multiple visits of Yediyurappa, whirlwind campaigns by various state and national-level leaders, the mood has turned upbeat in BJP camp.

Political family

Congress candidate Chandrasekhar is from a political family, as his father Boralingegowda was the president of the Town Municipal Council for a long time. It is also the fifth Assembly poll for him.

Hotelier

Narayana Gowda is from a business background. He had migrated to Mumbai, like many youths of his time from the region, and earned a fortune there, in the hospitality sector.

Advocate

An advocate by profession, Devaraj is the most educated among the main contestants. He had unsuccessfully contested on a JD(S) ticket in 1999. In 2018 also, he had secured a ‘B’ form of the JD(S). But Narayana Gowda was also given the ticket. Finally, Gowda’s ‘B’ form was cleared by the JD(S) high command.

Out of the 2.09 lakh voters of the segment, nearly 40% are Vokkaligas, a majority of whom have been supporting the JD(S). Around 20% are Kurubas and a majority of them are with Congress. SCs comprise around 15% and are divided between Congress and JD(S). Lingayats, 10%, STs, 5%, may show inclination to BJP, due to Yediyurappa and Sriramulu factors, respectively. Muslims, around 3%, may support Congress due to Rahman Khan, a native of the town.

Tough fight

The campaign of the BJP seems pronounced, compared to JD(S) and Congress. Some leaders of JD(S) and Congress have crossed over to BJP.

There are no footsoldiers for the BJP, while a large number of party workers are an advantage for JD(S) and Congress. While former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy’s teary outbursts may sync well with the JD(S) sympathisers, factors favouring the BJP may be the promised ministerial berth for Gowda and sympathy towards Yediyurappa, as he is a native of KR Pet.

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