Mysuru: Even as media claims that there is resentment against dynastic politics at the National and Regional level, it seems this inclination for politics to be a family affair has now percolated even to the local level.
In the recently held MCC elections, many family members from the local political families have made an entry. While some politicians wanted to push their sons and sons-in-law, others fielded their spouse as they were deprived tickets following ward delimitation and reservation of seats.
Corporators for 27 years!
In one such instance, former Mayor Arif Hussain returned to the MCC after winning from Ward No. 16, falling under N.R. Assembly Constituency. Arif Hussain first won in 1996 and became Mayor in 1998. He then gave up his seat to his wife Samshad Begum as his Ward became reserved for Woman. His wife Samshad Begum recorded a hat-trick of wins. This year that seat has been ‘de-reserved’ from being a Woman reserved Ward, so this time Arif Hussain contested himself and won. Between him and his wife, they have been Corporators for 22 years and with this win, it will be 27 years!
Son, Son-in-law and Wives
Former Mayor Sandesh Swamy of the BJP, who unsuccessfully contested from N.R. Constituency in May 2018 Assembly polls, chose to field his 23-year-old son Sathvik from Ward No. 35. Sathvik won defeating his nearest rival G.N. Manjunath of the Congress. Incidentally, Sathvik is the youngest to have won the MCC polls.
In Ward No. 58, BJP candidate Sharath Kumar won by a thin margin of 8 votes against Krishna Kumar Sagar of the Congress. Sharath Kumar is the son-in-law of BJP National Council member and former KEA Chairman B.P. Manjunath.
H.M. Shanthakumari, who won from Ward No. 32, is the wife of former Mayor H.N. Srikantaiah. She fought on a Congress ticket. Incidentally, Srikantaiah had filed nomination as an Independent candidate from Ward No. 33 against his own wife’s party but the Congress High Command told him to withdraw his nomination and support Congress candidate Bashir Ahmed.
In Ward No. 19 (Jayalakshmipuram-V.V. Mohalla), Bhagya Mahadesh, wife of jailed former JD(S) Corporator C. Mahadesh, won on a JD(S) ticket defeating her nearest rival Hemalatha of the BJP by a slender margin of 11 votes. Mahadesh’s brother-in-law Gopalswamy was given a JD(S) ticket for Ward No. 20 which he lost.
Rukmini Madegowda of JD(S) who contested from Ward No. 36 (Yeraganahalli-Ambedkar Colony) has entered the MCC Council for the second time, defeating her nearest rival Rajani Annaiah of the Congress. Rukmini’s husband Madegowda is a ZP member.
In Ward No. 61, Shobha of the Congress defeated her nearest rival Vidya Urs of the BJP. Shobha’s husband M. Sunil, an advocate, was a Corporator in the preceding Council.
Corporator M. Shivanna of the JD(S) who had won from Hebbal thrice, chose to field his wife Lakshmi after the Ward was reserved for Woman candidate. Lakshmi won from Ward No.1 (Hebbal-Lakshmikanthanagar) on a JD(S) ticket defeating her nearest rival S. Triveni of BJP.
It seems by fielding their kith and kin, former Corporators wish keep their grip on their Wards in perpetuity. Does this bode well for local administration and urban planning? Will Mysuru, once the Kingdom of the Wadiyars, now end up becoming the fiefdom of a few?