Role reversal for pol parties, leaders in Mysuru region

Role reversal for pol parties, leaders in Mysuru region

S A Ramdas

It is a case of a role reversal for political parties and their leaders in Mysuru region with H D Kumaraswamy losing the ‘Vote of Confidence’ as chief minister, on Tuesday.

The region which is well represented in the JD(S)-Congress coalition government (due to the dominance of the JDS here), may not get a similar representation if BJP forms the state government.

It has to be noted that the BJP is a minor player in the region, with just five MLAs, out of a total of 29 Assembly constituencies.

There are 18 JD(S) MLAs, five Congress MLAs and one BSP MLA from the districts of Mysuru, Mandya, Hassan and Chamarajanagar. As Hunsur and KR Pet MLAs of the JD(S) have resigned, the figure may change slightly in a few months.

Disturbed equations

Now, JD(S) will have to play the role of the opposition. BJP, which used to be a usual alliance partner of the JD(S) cannot continue with the same equations now, given its experience over the past 14 months.

The Congress, which imposed itself on the JD(S) to form the state government after the last Assembly polls, is also in a bad shape as the continuation of its power-sharing agreement in local bodies like Mysuru City Corporation and Mysuru Zilla Panchayat, hangs in uncertainty.

However, grassroots workers of all three major parties are in an upbeat mood. The workers were never in favour of the JD(S)-Congress coalition as they have been traditional rivals over two decades. The workers of the BSP are also gearing up to expand their reach.

In the JD(S), there may be a polarisation of Sa Ra Mahesh and G T Devegowda factions in Mysuru district. Siddaramaiah is sure to continue his efforts to consolidate his hold in the Congress.

Weak BJP

The BJP is not in a commanding position in the Mysuru region. There is no leader, or father-figure, who can lead the party.

All are dependent on leaders in either Bengaluru or New Delhi. Each leader has his/her own mentor and they do not gel at the local level.

Out of the five BJP MLAs, only S A Ramdas is senior. He has contested five elections to the Assembly from Krishnaraja constituency, in the city.

He lost in 2004 and 2014, while he won in 1994, 1999, 2008 and 2018. From 2009 to 2011, he was the political secretary to then CM B S Yeddyurappa.

From 2011 to 2014, he served as Medical Education Minister and also Mysuru District in-charge Minister. He may, or may not, become a minister.  But, he can emerge a mentor, given his seniority and experience.

MPs

Even though Chamarajanagar MP V Srinivas Prasad is senior, he is just three years old in the BJP. His age and health are causes for concern. Two-time MP Prathap Simha is yet to earn the confidence of the party workers, even though he is trying to strike a balance with its leaders.

Preetham J Gowda of Hassan showed signs of emerging as a leader, with how he handled the cropping up of the audio clipping, in which he allegedly tries to woo Devadurga MLA K Shivanagouda Naik.

Besides, the attack on his house by JD(S) workers when he criticised former prime minister H D Deve Gowda catapulted him into the limelight. His compulsion to bear with the other six JD(S) MLAs in his district will naturally make him a leader. But, this will take time.

First-timers

L Nagendra of Chamaraja, B Harshavardhan of Nanjangud and C S Niranjan Kumar of Gundlupet are all first time MLAs. While Nagendra served as chairman of Mysuru Urban Development Authority, Niranjan Kumar had served as a Zilla Panchayat member.

Harshavardhan, the grandson of former minister B Basavalingappa and also son-in-law of MP Srinivas Prasad was an engineer before contesting the 2018 polls.

If these three MLAs can win the confidence of party leaders and workers and if they can bring all factions together, they can emerge leaders.

The fate and the future plans of Hunsur MLA A H Vishwanath and KR Pet MLA Narayan Gowda (whose resignations are pending) will also play a major role in the politics of the region.