Mysuru, Apr 7 : The Old Mysuru region, where the JD(S) and the Congress party, traditional rivals turned allies, is looking for clean sweep of four seats by defeating the BJP plays in the coming Lok Sabha polls on April 18. Even though the coalition partners in the state government and also in some local bodies, the two party workers and leaders at the grass root are not happy with the pre-poll understanding. However, the disgruntlement is not seen much in the open, given the commitment to coalition theory.
The coalition partners are facing stiff opposition from the BJP in Mysuru-Kodagu, Chamarajanagara and Hassan segment, while in Mandya Sumalatha, a senior actor and wife of late former union mininster Ambreesh is posing a major challenge to coalition partners. However the parties are trying to establish their ground in the Mysore region with pitching strong candidates in the four segments. In the 2014 elections, JDS had won two while Congress and the BJP shared the other two. Now, under pre-poll understanding Mandya and Hassan seats have been allotted to JD-S while Mysuru-Kodagu and Chamarajanagara seats to Congress.
All eyes are on Hassan and Mandya since , the seats are now fought bythird generation family members of the former prime minister H D Deve Gowda‘s grandsons Prajwal Revanna (Hassan), son of PWD minister H D Revanna and Nikhil K (Mandya) son of chief minister H D Kumrawamy. Both constituencies are strongholds of the JD-S. The four loksabha constituencies have become prestigious for the coalition partners. The sugar belt Mandya, which is a known Vokkialiga heartland and prestigious for the chief minister H D Kumrawamy who is virtually camping in the district to ensure his son's victory. Some hiccups in the constituency with congress party workers openly supporting Sumalatha has sparked controversy.
In Mysuru-Kodagu, so far, the Janata Parivar has not been able to win the LS seat even once. While the BJP had won thrice, , the rest of the terms (13) were won by the Congress. Now the Congress and the BJP continue to be the rivals. In the 2014 polls, Pratap Simha of the BJP won with 5,03,908 votes in Mysuru-Kodagu constituency, followed by Adagur H Vishwanath of the Congress at 4,72,300 votes and Chandrashekaraiah of the JD(S) at 1,38,587 votes. Pratap Simha was a dark horse in the BJP in 2014 and all MLAs in the constituency, except for Madikeri and Virajpet (Kodagu district) MLAs M P Appachu Ranjan and K G Bopiah respectively, belonged to either Congress or JD(S).
Thus, his victory was also a result of the blessings of JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda. Both Gowda and Simha are natives of Hassan district. This time, it is a prestige issue for former chief minister Siddaramaiah in the coalition as he was trounced by the JD(S) in the Assembly poll in Chamundeshwari constituency last May coming under the segment in previous Assembly elections. Before the Assembly polls, he brought two-time BJP MP C H Vijayashankar of his own Kuruba community into the Congress fold and got the seat and facing straight fight with the BJP.Mandya, in the last bypoll, held in November 2018, L R Shivaramegowda of the JD(S), as a coalition candidate, was elected almost unopposed, despite a discord among Congress workers and leaders
Even though the BJP improved its vote share to a record of 2,44,377 votes, the margin was 3,24,925 votes. In the 2014 poll, the BJP had secured only 86,993 votes. With the entry of Nikhil and Sumalatha, the political climate in Mandya was hot even before the election schedule was announced. Sumalatha is not only backed by the BJP which has not pitched its candidate, she is supported by the Congress leaders and workers and also disgruntled JD(S) workers.
Former chief minister S M Krishna, a Vokkaliga strongman, has not done much to reduce the clout enjoyed by the Deve Gowda family in the Vokkaliga strong-hold.
In Hassan, Prajwal is facing tough challenge from former minister A Manju who quit Congress and joined the BJP just before the polls. Gowda had won this seat five times before shifting to Tumakuru this time. In Chamarajanagar sitting MP Dhruvanarayan of the Congress seek re-election. With BJP bring back party state vice president V Srinivas Prasad, who had represented the constituency five times and now contesting after gap of 20 years to the parliament. (UNI)