Cong's Kolar fortress falls; Muniyappa bites dust

K H Muniyappa

Kolar: The BJP has wrested the Congress fortress, the Kolar parliamentary seat, for the first time, creating a history of sorts. 

The Congress’s veteran leader, former union minister and seven-time member of parliament, K H Muniyappa, bit the dust in the ‘Modi wave’.

BJP nominee S Muniswamy defeated Muniyappa by a margin of 2,09,671 votes.

Of the 16 Lok Sabha polls since Independence, the Congress candidates have won 15 times. The seat was represented by Muniyappa since 1991 for seven times.

Factionalism in the district unit shattered his dream of entering Parliament for the eighth time.

Political pundits attribute Muniyappa’s defeat to dissidence in the party unit and charges of ill-gotten gains and land encroachments.
Rivals projected him as a hurdle to smooth commissioning of the KC Valley project.

Compared to Muniyappa, Muniswamy was little known to voters. However, he rode on the Modi wave and emerged victorious.

The Kolar Lok Sabha segment has 8 Assembly constituencies. Six constituencies are held by Congress candidates, while two by the JD(S).
Despite seven MLAs from alliance partners, Muniyapppa faced a huge setback. 

Barring KGF, represented by his daughter M Roopakala, Muniyappa polled less votes in all seven segments. Anti-Muniyappa factions in all parties worked plotted to ensure his defeat.

A section of the Congress leaders have charged that the JD(S) leaders did not follow the dharma of
coalition.

JD(S) MLA from Kolar K Srinivas Gowda, former MLA from Malur K S Manjunath Gowda and a few other JD(S) leaders did not respect the party’s instructions and worked against Muniyappa.

Congress MLA from Srinivaspur and Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, former MLA from Mulbagal Kothanur Manjunath and sitting MLA Congress’ MLA Nagesh, Shidlaghatta MLA V Muniyappa and former MLA from Chintamani M C Sudhakar Reddy formed a group and worked against Muniyappa. 

According his rivals, Muniyappa ignored development of the constituency, which proved costly.

He was also over-confident that he would emerge victorious.

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