Bengaluru, Apr 16: Shivamogga, once the cradle of the socialist movement in Karnataka and now a BJP’s hunting ground, is witnessing a fierce battle between sons of two former chief ministers to gain entry to Parliament in the April 23 elections.
The Shivamogga seat, which went to bypolls in November, in which the BJP candidate B Y Raghavendra, son of former Karnataka Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, had won with a comfortable margin, is once again
facing Madhu Bangarappa, the JD(S)-Congress alliance, candidate, also son of late S Bangarappa, also a former Chief minister. The BJP candidate and the sitting Lok Sabha member had to sweat it out to pip the JD(S) candidate in the November-2018 bypolls, is leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters, who had sent him twice to Parliament in the past.
While the district is in the news for the outbreak of the monkey fever, a disease usually found in forest covered areas, the issues of regularisation of the unauthorised cultivation of revenue and forest land, closure of the Mysore Paper Mills, the sickness of the Visvesvaraya Steel plant also hogs the limelight in the district.
While the sitting BJP member Raghavendra is yet to come out of the shell of his father B S Yeddyurappa’s clout despite being elected as the Lok Sabha member to the Karnataka Assembly, the Congress supported JD(S) candidate Madhu Bangarappa, is also banking on the popularity of his late father and former chief minister S Bangarappa.
The JD(S)-Congress alliance candidate Madhu Bangarappa is trying to win the focus of the voters by highlighting the achievements of the JD(S)-Congress, coalition government, including that of farm loan waiver, several pro-people populist schemes introduced by the Congress government led by Siddaramaiah. The BJP candidate Raghavendra is trying to woo the voters by pointing out his achievements, including that of sanctioning of Natinal Highways, extension of Railway networks, introduction of new trains between Bengaluru and Shivamogga.
The strong impact of the undercurrent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s wave, and a well knitted Sangh Pariwar volunteers should come to the aid of the Saffron candidate, Raghavendra, the pre-poll alliance between JD(S) and the Congress is working in favour of Madhu Bangarappa. The constituency, consisting significant number of Lingayats, Brahmins, SC and STs, beside OBCs, seems to have been divided as the supporters of both the parties, with an exception of the Muslim minorities.
While prima facie it appears, it should be a cakewalk for the BJP, as the saffron party was succeeded in getting as many as 7 Assembly seats in the 2018 Elections, while the JD(S) drew blank and the Congress one. “However with the coming together of anti-BJP parties, the outcome would be different this time” Manjunath, a paper vendor, opined.
While as many as 12 candidates, including BSP are in the fray, the main fight is between two traditional rivals, Congress supported JD(S) and the BJP in the constituency, which goes to poll on April-23, the second phase elections in Karnataka. (UNI)