This school dropout Dalit MLA eyes 6th win

This school dropout Dalit MLA eyes 6th win

S Angara

Situated on the foothills of the Western Ghats, Sullia is the only constituency in Dakshina Kannada district that is reserved for the Scheduled Castes. One of the richest temples in the state Kukke Subrahmanya, renowned trekking spot Kumara Parvatha and Pushpagiri sanctuary come under this constituency.

Having represented this seat in the Assembly for five consecutive terms since 1994, Angara S (54) of the BJP, is eyeing for a sixth straight win. This low profile Dalit MLA, who is a school dropout, will be facing the seventh Assembly polls of his career. He is pitted against Congress candidate Dr Raghu for the third time.

If Angara makes it to the Assembly again, he will only be the second Dalit MLA in the state to have recorded as many wins in a row after the Congress veteran Mallikarjuna Kharge. The Dalit leader from Kalaburagi district was elected to the Assembly for eight consecutive terms from Gurmitkal (SC) seat from 1972 to 2004.

Both the BJP and the Congress are engaged in an intensive campaign in the constituency. BJP president Amit Shah blew the poll bugle when he held Navashakti Samavesha in Subrahmanya on February 20, even before the announcement of the elections.

The Congress is hopeful that people will vote for a change after seeing a BJP MLA for the last 25 years. They feel that the welfare schemes of the Congress government in Karnataka and the “failure’’ of the earlier BJP rule in Karnataka will work to its advantage.

The BJP has been banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the achievement’s of his government.

Angara says the voters are in BJP’s favour and exuded confidence of party coming to power. “I have focused on development works at grassroots rather than major projects during my tenure.”

Dr Raghu said, “I have been working with the people for the last several years and am hopeful of winning the election.”