Will Chamundeshwari bless GTD with a hat-trick victory?
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Will Chamundeshwari bless GTD with a hat-trick victory?

April 2, 2023

By S.B. Devaraj

Mysore/Mysuru: Chamundeshwari Constituency, which is geographically mostly rural and less urban, is poised to witness a keen battle this time between three major parties — BJP,  Congress and JD(S).

While sitting JD(S) MLA G.T. Devegowda (GTD) will contest again from Chamundeshwari, the Congress and the BJP are yet to announce their candidates for the May 10  Assembly polls.

Though the Constituency has a sizeable Vokkaliga population, other communities such as Lingayats, Kurubas, SC/STs, Brahmins, Vishwakarmas, Kodavas, Muslims and Christians too play a significant role in deciding the fate of the contestants.

Chamundeshwari has been in the news during every Assembly poll for one reason or the other. The last time (2018) for the then Chief Minister Siddharamaiah’s contest from here in a high-stake battle, which he, however, lost to GTD.

In fact, it was Chamundeshwari Constituency that gave a re-birth to former Siddharamaiah as he won the 2006 by-election from here, contesting on a Congress ticket for the first time after he quit the JD(S), albeit by a wafer-thin margin (257 votes) in a bitterly fought contest between the then ruling JD(S)-BJP Coalition Government and the Opposition Congress.

The 2018 Assembly poll was a real test for Siddharamaiah, who as the CM in 2018, contested on a Congress ticket from Chamundeshwari, which he had represented many times in the past. However, Siddharamaiah lost by a huge margin of 36,000 votes to GTD of the JD(S).

But Siddharamaiah managed to scrape through in another Constituency from which he contested — Badami in Bagalkot district — which turned out to be a saving grace for him.

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Chamundeshwari Constituency is a blend of rural and urban areas. While the Constituency has several layouts in the outer limits of the city, many villages of the taluk form a large chunk of the Constituency, which was first formed in 1967.

K. Puttaswamy, the first MLA and an influential Congress leader then went on to become a Minister in S. Nijalingappa’s Cabinet and again in Veerendra Patil-headed Government in the early part of 1972.

With multiple aspirants for the seat from the Congress and BJP camps, both parties have been finding it difficult to choose their candidate to take on GTD. While Arun Kumar Gowda, Hemanth Kumar Gowda and Kaveesh Gowda, son of former Congress MLA Vasu, are seeking the BJP ticket, senior Congress leader Mavinhalli Siddegowda, former ZP President K. Marigowda and District Congress President Dr. B.J. Vijaykumar are the strong aspirants for the Congress ticket.

While GTD is fighting to score a hat-trick victory, Congress is looking to regain the seat and the BJP is seeking to win the seat for the first time.

VOTER DATA

Chamundeshwari Assembly seat is among the biggest ones in the State, having an electoral strength of 3,22,424 voters, who include 1,60,925 males, 1,61,468 females and 31 other voters. There are 337 polling booths and in 2018, of the total 2,95,816 voters, 2,24,968 (76.05 percent) had exercised their franchise.

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