In Koratagere, Parameshwara up against disgruntled voters

In Koratagere, Parameshwara up against disgruntled voters

With exactly 10 days left for the imminent assembly polls, KPCC President and Congress candidate from Koratagere is canvassing for votes at Channarayanadurga hobli in Koratagere, Tumakuru, on Wednesday.

“I can’t believe this is a hobli headquarter. The people of Tovinkere have taken away all the benefits. Channarayanadurga is a hobli headquarter only in name,” declares KPCC president and Congress’ Koratagere candidate G Parameshwara.

No sooner than he utters these words, pat comes a reply, “You have only kept it (hobli) that way, despite being in power.”

Seeking out the villager from the crowd, Parameshwara questions him: “Nannenappa idakke kaarana? (Am I responsible for this?)” When the villager unwaveringly reiterates his charge, an embarrassed Parameshwara is forced to concede defeat.

He is standing atop a ‘panchayati katte’ in Channa­rayanadurga making promises and seeking votes from the villagers whom he had last seen exactly five years ago. “Aitu bidu. Neenu hang andkondre naanenu madakkagalla (Fine, then. If you think that way, I can’t help it),” he says resignedly.

Parameshwara, who has been camping in Koratagere ever since the elections were announced, is desperate for a win this time after a major setback in the 2013 elections.

On Wednesday, he went to around villages coming under the Boodigavi, Tovinkere and Moovatturu panchayat limits reaching out to the voters.

He first visited the historic Channarayanadurga, which shot to fame through films like Elu Suttina Kote and Bangarada Jinke. This hill fort is plagued by several problems despite being declared a hobli.

It lacks even basic facilities like a public health centre, post office or bank. Drinking water supply is irregular and no government buses ply to this village.

Imploring Parameshwara to remedy the drinking water problem, the village womenfolk also seek his intervention to help them gain access to buses.

“The girl students are finding it very difficult to go to schools and colleges located 10 km away in Koratagere. As it gets very late in the evenings for them to get home, many girls have dropped out of colleges,” the women say.

Parameshwara promises to perform better if they vote him to power this time.

Not wanting to offend the villagers, he smilingly accepts their hospitality. Having hurriedly gobbled up a plate of ragi roti and chutney at gram panchayat member Sanjeeva’s house, he heads straight to Sandiq Pasha’s house for a quick cup of coffee.

As Parameshwara bids them farewell to make it to the next village Dogganahalli, a villager jokingly asks his fellow men, “When will we see him next? In another five years?”