Hunsur: Hunsur Assembly segment, which was once represented by former Chief Minister D. Devaraj Urs for six terms is one of the Assembly segments in Mysuru region has caught the attention of political observers in the State.
Hunsur has witnessed 17 Assembly elections so far, out of which, Congress has won 11 times, thus making it a Congress stronghold. While the Janata Parivar has won four times, the BJP has won twice and D. Devaraj Urs was once elected unopposed.
D. Devaraj Urs, who was considered as a champion of backward classes for introducing revolutionary land reforms and Social Welfare Schemes, has created a record by representing the Constituency for six terms between 1952 and 1982.
Chandraprabha Urs, the daughter of Devaraj Urs was elected twice from this Constituency, first as a Janata Party candidate in 1983 and for the second time as a Congress candidate in 1989. G.T. Devegowda was twice elected on a JD(S) ticket in 1998 (by-poll) and 2004, while C.H. Vijayashankar of the BJP won in 1994. The 1994 win is the only time the BJP has won from here.
H.P. Manjunath of the Congress is the sitting MLA from the Constituency. Manjunath had also won in 2008 and is all set to contest again in the May 12 Assembly polls.
While Devaraj Urs became the Chief Minister, his daughter Chandraprabha Urs, H.L. Thimmegowda and G.T. Devegowda who won from this Constituency, went on to become Ministers at different points of time. With Congress almost certain to issue the party ticket to incumbent MLA H.P. Manjunath, the JD(S) has fielded veteran politician A.H. Vishwanath, who quit the Congress, with which he was associated with for four decades, to join the JD(S).
Vishwanath, an influential Kuruba leader, was upset with the Congress, especially after CM Siddharamaiah began to ignore him. Although the Congress and JD(S) have announced the name of their candidates, the BJP is yet to announce its candidate even though the poll schedule was announced more than 10 days ago.
The frontrunners for the BJP ticket are — BJP Taluk President B.S. Yogananda, V.K. Foundation Founder Vasanth Kumar Gowda, former ZP member Jabagere Ramesh and Bhavani Rajendra of Hunsur. Satya Foundation Patron and Social Worker Sathyappa, who has made a name for himself by engaging in social activities across the constituency, is planning to contest as an Independent candidate.
At the outset, the main fight appears to be between the Congress and the JD(S) with the JD(S) hell-bent on ensuring the victory of its candidate A.H. Vishwanath, who has hinted that this will be his last election.
MLA G.T. Devegowda, who had represented Hunsur twice and JD(S) State Chief H.D. Kumaraswamy are working overtime to see that Vishwanath wins from here as he is the senior most party leader in Mysuru. As far as the ruling Congress is concerned, CM Siddharamaiah has taken the constituency as a prestige issue and is making all-out efforts to retain the seat for the Congress.
The CM hopes that the entry of Anil Chikkamadu, the son of late H.D. Kote MLA Chikkamadu, who had represented Hunsur earlier, into the Congress, will boost the party’s prospects in the Assembly polls. The BJP too is having its own plan to woo the voters, once the party declares its candidate.
I am the son of veteran Congress leader Premakumar and I have won twice and have done a lot of notable work in the Constituency. The CM’s welfare measures and the Congress Government’s performance in the last five years will see me through in this election. I am very much hopeful of achieving hat-trick by getting elected this time also.”
—Sitting Congress MLA H.P. Manjunath
I learnt political lessons from my ‘Guru’ Devaraj Urs, whose name was synonymous with Hunsur in the sixties and seventies. I represented K.R. Nagar thrice and I moved out of Congress as I was upset with the attitude of CM Siddharamaiah. I am very much familiar with the topography of Hunsur Assembly segment and I hope that the people of the Constituency would elect me and throw out Congress.”
—JD(S) candidate and former Minister A.H. Vishwanath
I have the experience of leading the party at the taluk level for years. I am hopeful of getting the party ticket and people are willing to bless me this time.”
—BJP ticket aspirant B.S. Yogananda
I am engaged in social activities after setting up my own V.K. Foundation. I was inspired by State BJP President B.S. Yeddyurappa to join the party and I am hopeful of getting the party ticket. If I win, my priority will be tackle unemployment which is very much bothering my constituency.”
—BJP ticket aspirant Vasanth Kumar Gowda
I have made a mark for myself in social circles of Hunsur and I have spearheaded the cause of farmers, labourers etc. I have taken measures to root out problems in the Constituency and I will contest as an Independent and go to the people seeking votes based on my social record.”
—Sathyappa of Sathyappa Foundation, Independent candidate