Tribal-friendly leader for forest-dominated H.D. Kote
Feature Articles

Tribal-friendly leader for forest-dominated H.D. Kote

April 10, 2023

By Mohan Kayaka

The H.D. Kote Constituency, which has the largest forested area among all 11 Assembly segments in the Mysuru district, is expected to witness a keen triangular contest between Congress, BJP and JD(S) in the upcoming election.

The Constituency is presently reserved for the ST category and is considered one of the most underdeveloped taluks in the State. SC and ST communities make up the majority of the population in the area, which is extensively dotted with tribal hamlets and vast stretches of forest land.

The Constituency was first formed in 1962 as an SC-reserved seat. Since then, the Congress candidate has won 6 times and the JD(S) has won three times, while the BJP is yet to win a seat in the Constituency.

Before 1962, the H.D. Kote taluk was part of a twin-member Constituency along with Gundlupet taluk in the 1952 polls, and part of Hunsur in the subsequent poll held in 1957. However, it became an independent SC reserved Constituency in 1962 when R. Peeranna, contesting on a Swatantra Party ticket, won the seat.

Peeranna repeated his feat in the 1967 and 1972 polls, thus achieving a hat-trick of wins. Later, Susheela Cheluvaraj, who contested on an Indira Congress ticket, won in 1978, followed by H.B. Cheluvaiah of the Janata Party in 1983, M. Shivanna of the Congress in 1985, M.P. Venkatesh of SJP in 1989, N. Nagaraj of the Janata Dal in 1994, M. Shivanna of the Congress in 1999 and M.P. Venkatesh of the JD(S) in 2004.

The reservation category for the H.D. Kote Constituency was changed from the 2008 polls when it was declared an ST reserved Constituency. Chikkanna of the Congress won in 2008, while S. Chikkamadu, who contested on a JD(S) ticket, won in 2013 and his son Anil Chikkamadu won on a Congress ticket in the 2018 polls.

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It is interesting to note that, except for R. Peeranna of the Congress, who registered a hat-trick of wins in 1962, 1967 and 1972, no other candidate has been successful in registering even two straight wins as voters have been alternating between the Congress and JD(S) each time. S. Chikkamadu of the JD(S) died in November 2017, following which his son Anil Chikkamadu contested on a Congress ticket in the 2018 Assembly polls and emerged victorious.

In the 2018 Assembly polls, Congress candidate Anil Chikkamadu won the election riding on the sympathy wave following the demise of his father S.Chikkamadu. The JD(S) candidate Chikkanna was the nearest rival, while the BJP candidate Siddaraju came third.

It is noteworthy that the Congress party was able to secure a victory in the Constituency despite facing a tough fight from the JD(S) and BJP candidates. The sympathy wave in favour of Anil Chikkamadu, following his father’s demise, seems to have played a crucial role in his victory.

The Congress party had announced candidature of their young sitting MLA Anil Chikkamadu, who is in his thirties, well in advance of the 2018 Assembly polls. However, the JD(S) and the ruling BJP were yet to announce the names of their candidates.

Jayaprakash was a strong aspirant for the JD(S) ticket, while former MLC Siddaraju, who lost the previous polls and Appanna were in the race for the BJP ticket. Krishna Nayaka, who recently quit the JD(S) and joined the BJP, was the latest entrant in the race to secure the BJP ticket from H.D. Kote, a Constituency that the BJP has never won before.

VOTER DATA

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H.D. Kote Constituency has 2,24,104 voters, including 1,12,464 male voters, 1,11,629 female voters and 11 other category voters. There are 3,438 physically challenged voters and 6,484 voters above 80 years of age. The Constituency is dominated by the Tribal community and is a Scheduled Tribe reserved Constituency. The Constituency is known for its high voter turnout in every poll. In 2018, the segment recorded 79.11 voting percent. Of the 2,14,824 voters, 1,69,941 had exercised their franchise.

THEY WERE MLAs FROM 1962 TO 2018

Year                  WINNER                                Party                                        Secured Votes

1962                  R. Peeranna                           Swathantra Party                      14,788

1967                  R. Peeranna                           Congress                                   18,818

1972                  R. Peeranna                           Samstha Congress                    21,859

1978                  Susheela Cheluvaraj              Indira Congress                         27,821

1983                  H.B. Cheluvaiah                     Janata Party                              33,840

1985                  M. Shivanna                           Congress                                   26,286

1989                  M.P. Venkatesh                     SJP                                             29,676

1994                  N. Nagaraju                           Janata Dal                                 41,208

1999                  M. Shivanna                           Congress                                   45,136

2004                  M.P. Venkatesh                     JD(S)                                          50,729

AFTER DECLARATION AS ST RESERVED CONSTITUENCY

2008                  Chikkanna                              Congress                                   43,222

2013                  S. Chikkamadu                       JD(S)                                          48,606

2018                  Anil Chikkamadu                   Congress                                   76,652

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