SHIVAMOGGA: Overconfidence and polarisation proved costly for senior Congress leader Kagodu Thimmappa, who lost his last political battle at Sagar Assembly constituency. Ignoring the age factor, the grand old party fielded Kagodu Thimmappa from Sagar, his home turf since 1962. This was his 12th election out of the 15 assembly elections in the state. In 12 assembly elections, he has tasted more defeat (7) than victory (5). Despite more defeats, Kagodu never lost hope.
After successive losses in 2004 and 2008, Kagodu bounced back with the issue of providing title deeds to bagair hukum cultivators and also those fighting under Forest Rights Act. After becoming the Revenue Minister, Kagodu made ‘valiant’ effort to issue title deeds to hundreds of bagair hukum cultivators and that was a small number. A majority of bagair hukum cultivators were from his own community ‘Eediga’.
“Kagodu always felt that his community votes would go in his favour and can never be divided. But, the opponent Haratalu Halappa too hails from the same community and successfully pulled these votes,” Chandrashekhar, an analyst said.
Above all, Thimmappa strongly believed that traditional Congress voters like SCs, Muslims and Christian communities are with the party.Other major issue was Thimmappa never tried to reach ‘second generation’ of voters whereas Halappa wooed the young voters.About four months ago, Thimmappa spoke very lightly about the cow slaughtering issue. He said cow too was like any other animal such as sheep and goat that was consumed. This hurt the sentiments of Havyaka Brahmins who form a sizable majority of voters. Other than this, all other upper castes consolidated resulting in the polarisation of votes. All this votes went in favour of BJP.
Visit of Yogi
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit too contributed in triggering the sentiments over ‘stop cow slaughtering’ and his meeting with Seer Raghaveshwara Bharati over the same issue of conservation of cows dealt with a massive jolt to the Congress.
Kagodu predicted that he would bag all the votes secured by his opponents in 2013 as both of them were now with him. But this also proved wrong. Taluk Congress party failed to organise and address all these issues that resulted in the debacle of Kagodu Thimmappa.
BJP’s Haratalu Halappa said: “I have high regards for Thimmappaji as he was an able politician. He would not have contested the elections considering his age as he could not move around swiftly.”
Lost by 8,039
Filed nominations for 12th time this assembly election