Who will steer the education, healthcare hub of Chamaraja?
Feature Articles

Who will steer the education, healthcare hub of Chamaraja?

April 3, 2023

By S.B. Devaraj

The Chamaraja Constituency, a Vokkaliga-dominated one, has been a BJP bastion for decades. But this time, the Assembly segment is likely to witness a triangular fight between the Congress, BJP and the JD(S).

Ever since the Constituency was formed in 1978, only Vokkaliga MLAs have represented it thus far. Apart from Vokkaligas, the Constituency has a sizeable population of Lingayats, Brahmins, Kurubas, SC/ST communities, minorities and others. However, all the parties have opted to field Vokkaliga candidates in almost all elections since 1978.

While countdown for the  2023 Assembly polls has begun, the three major political parties — Congress, BJP and JD(S) — are yet to announce their candidates.

Apart from being an education and healthcare hub, the Chamaraja Constituency boasts of having the City Railway Station, the Internationally-famed Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) and many other institutions of repute. The Constituency is also home to hundreds of Yoga schools that are crowded with foreign learners. 

Though H.S. Shankarligegowda was elected on a BJP ticket for four successive terms, he did not get an opportunity to enter the B.S. Yediyurappa-headed first BJP Government in 2008. A miffed Gowda quit the BJP ahead of the 2013 Assembly polls and contested on a JD(S) ticket. He lost the polls to Vasu of the Congress in a stiff triangular fight, with L. Nagendra being the BJP candidate then.

While sitting MLA L. Nagendra, former city BJP President Dr. B.H. Manjunath, former MLC D. Madegowda, former MUDA Chairman C. Basavegowda, leader Jayaprakash (JP) and a few others are in the race for the BJP ticket, former MLA Vasu and Congress leader K. Harish Gowda are seeking Congress ticket.

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The JD(S) also has many aspirants for the seat, with Corporators K.V. Sridhar, SBM Manju and Prema Shankaregowda, and former Corporator C. Mahadesh being the main contenders for the party ticket.

However, the JD(S) may field H.K. Ramesh, son of late former MLA H. Kempegowda, it is learnt.  The AAP(Aam Admi Party) too is taking the forthcoming polls seriously and has fielded its frontline leader Malavika Gubbivani from the seat. May 10 elections will be a litmus test for L. Nagendra of BJP who hopes to repeat his victory this time too.

VOTER DATA

The Chamaraja Constituency has 2,42,760 voters, who include 1,19,701 males, 1,23,030 females and 29 other voters, with women voters outnumbering men. However, the Constituency has a poor record of poll percentage, with just 59.17 percent polling recorded in the 2018 Assembly polls.

However, it is to be seen if the Constituency will see a much-improved voter turnout this time, with the authorities taking all measures to ensure maximum voting. There are 2,374 physically challenged voters, 9,833 voters who are above 80 years of age and there are 244 polling booths.

From Universities to Speciality Government Hospitals…

Chamaraja is a hub of education and healthcare in the Mysuru district. It is very difficult for any other Constituency to boast of hospitals and educational institutions like Chamaraja.

Education: University of Mysore, Karnataka State Open University, Maharaja’s College, Maharani’s College, Yuvaraja’s College, Government Ayurveda College and Charaka Post-Graduation College and All India Institute of Speech and Hearing.

Healthcare: Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, K.R. Hospital, Cheluvamba Hospital, Ayurveda Hospital, PKTB Hospital, District Hospital, ESI Hospital, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences & Research, Trauma Care, Panchakarma Hospital, Princess Krishnajammanni Super Speciality Hospital and Railway Hospital.

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WINNERS AND VOTE DATA FROM 1978 TO 2018

Year                          MLA                                                 Party                    Number of votes

1978                         K. Puttaswamy                              Janata Party       24,524

1978 (by-poll)        B.N. Kengegowda                         Congress (I)        20,234

1983                         H. Kempegowda                           Janata Party       23,967

1985                         K. Kempeeregowda                     Janata Party       32,077

1986 (by-poll)        P.M. Chikkaboraiah                      Janata Party       25,583

1989                         K. Harshakumar Gowda              Congress             31,514

1994                         H.S. Shankaralingegowda          BJP                        32,620

1999                         H.S. Shankaralingegowda          BJP                        48,733

2004                         H.S. Shankaralingegowda          BJP                        38,193

2008                         H.S. Shankaralingegowda          BJP                        44,243

2013                         Vasu                                                 Congress             41,930

2018                         L. Nagendra                                    BJP                        51,683

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