Nanjangud: The Temple Town of Nanjangud, know as Dakshina Kashi is buzzing with political activities as the polling date (May 12) is drawing closer with each passing day.
The Nanjangud (SC Reserved) Constituency became the Centre of political attraction last year as the Assembly segment went to by-poll in April 2017, that was necessitated following the resignation of sitting MLA V. Sreenivasa Prasad, who quit the Congress after being unceremoniously dropped from the Siddharamaiah Ministry in the Cabinet reshuffle held in mid 2016.
Following the recent voter enrolment drives, the Constituency has 2,32,079 voters — 1,02,516 men and 1,00,755 women.
The Constituency has witnessed 14 Assembly polls, including last year’s by-poll. While the Congress has won 10 times, Janata Parivar thrice and an Independent candidate has won once.
The Nanjangud Assembly segment which was a general one, became an SC reserved Constituency following the delimitation in 2008. The Congress won three times including the April 2017 by-poll, after the 2008 delimitation.
While Sreenivasa Prasad won as a Congress candidate in 2008 and 2013, he lost in the April 2017 by-poll as a BJP Candidate to Kalale Keshavamurthy of the Congress, who had defected from the JD(S) just ahead of the by-poll.
It is interesting to note that three leaders M. Mahadev (Benki Mahadev), D.T. Jayakumar and V. Sreenivasa Prasad, who were elected from the Constituency became Ministers, while M. Mahadev won on a Congress ticket three times, D.T. Jayakumar contesting as a Janata Parivar candidate won three times.
Now that M. Mahadev and D.T. Jayakumar are no more and Sreenivasa Prasad retiring from electoral politics, it can be said that the constituency has lost its sheen.
While it is almost certain that the Congress will field its sitting MLA Kalale Keshavamurthy, the BJP and JD(S) are yet to announce their candidates.
The frontrunners for the BJP ticket include S. Mahadevaiah, Advocate S. Arun Kumar, BJP Mysuru District President Kote M. Shivanna, V. Sreenivasa Prasad’s son-in-law Harshavardhan, who is also the State BJP Yuva Morcha Vice-President, former ZP Vice-President Dr. K. Shivaram and Advocate Mahesh Attikhane.
As far as the JD(S) is concerned, the key aspirants include former MCC Corporator R. Somasundar, ZP Vice-President H.S. Dayananda Murthy and JD(S) SC/ST Morcha District President Belawadi Shivakumar.
It may be mentioned here that the JD(S) did not contest the April 2017 by-poll, which largely helped the Congress win the seat in a bitterly contested election between the Congress and the BJP.
While R. Somasundar of the JD(S) is campaigning across the Constituency, camping in a house in Nanjangud Town’s NGO Colony, another aspirant H.S. Dayananadamurthy too is criss-crossing the Constituency in the hope of getting the party ticket.
Meanwhile, too many aspirants has caused a headache to the BJP leadership in the selection of the party candidate even as the countdown for the May 12 Assembly poll has begun.
The BJP is making all efforts to field a consensus candidate among the aspirants, to win the seat this time and thus avenge the April 2017 by-poll defeat.
Also, all is said to be not well in the Congress Camp, as district Minister Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa is looking at the possibility of contesting from here, after leaving his home Constituency of T. Narsipur to his son Sunil Bose. Dr. Mahadevappa had also batted for his son Sunil Bose in last year’s by-poll. But CM Siddharamaiah and the Congress leaders thwarted Dr. Mahadevappa’s plans and allotted the party ticket to Kalale Keshavamurthy after making him defect from the JD(S) to the Congress.
Keshavamurthy had lost to Sreenivasa Prasad by a narrow margin in the 2013 Assembly polls.
I won the 2017 by-poll with the co-operation from CM Siddharamaiah, District Minister Dr. H.C. Mahadevappa, MP R. Dhruvanarayan and other leaders. I have completed many developmental works in the Constituency and some works are in progress. I am confident that the voters of the Constituency would bless me this time too.”
—Kalale Keshavamurthy, Incumbent MLA
I have contested in 2008 and 2013 polls. I lost the 2008 polls by a margin of only 708 votes. With the co-operation from everyone, I have organised BJP from grassroot level and also know the voters of the Constituency. If senior politicians like V. Sreenivasa Prasad and others support me, I will surely win the election. I am confident that the BJP High Command would give the ticket to me.”
—S. Mahadevaiah, BJP State Executive Member.
As a Minister I have fulfilled my duties without any controversies and I have gained the confidence of people of all classes. I am also an aspirant for the Nanjangud ticket and I am ready to fulfill my duties given by the party.”
—Kote M. Shivanna, BJP District President.
As an advocate I have fought for social causes and have also fought for the welfare of all communities besides taking into confidence of all in the Constituency. I will be the voice of the people of all classes and communities. I am confident that the party High Command will recognise my social works and give me the ticket and I also believe that I will win in the election.”
— S. Arun Kumar, Special Invitee to the BJP State Executive
I have contested in the 2013 elections as a BJP candidate. I am educated and a localite and I will win the confidence of everyone and face the election. I am confident that the party would consider me for the ticket.”
—Dr. K. Shivaram, former Zilla Panchayat Vice-President.
As I grew up politically under my father-in-law V. Sreenivasa Prasad, I am confident of getting the ticket. With the support and guidance from Sreenivasa Prasad and other leaders, I would like to develop the Constituency as a Model Constituency, which is my dream.”
—Harshavardhan, BJP State Yuva Morcha Vice-President.
When former Minister H. Vishwanath left Congress and joined the JD(S), I was the Congress SC Wing President and I also quit the Congress and joined the JD(S). As I am confident of getting the ticket to contest from Nanjangud Constituency, I have taken up a house at NGO Colony in Nanjangud.”
—R. Somasundar, JD(S) ticket aspirant.
I am a Zilla Panchayat Member (Independent) and have now joined JD(S). I am sure of getting the JD(S) ticket. With the blessings of my father Hejjige Srinivasaiah, who was a Minister, JD(S) State President H.D. Kumaraswamy and the coalition with BSP, I am sure to win.”
—H.S. Dayananda Murthy, ZP Member.