MYSURU: The poll campaign in prestigious Chamundeshwari constituency, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy hitting the roads, has raised dust and fire.
The scorching sun did not wilt their spirits as the two have locked horns to prove their mettle in the constituency and the Old Mysuru region.
Party members and leaders are taking care to not run into the other’s entourage, but voters are waiting for both to cross each other. There may be a scope for confrontation.
The leaders head out every morning and local and second-rung leaders from both parties make arrangements to draw huge crowds. Women shower flowers and take out arathi, while others have been tasked with bursting crackers and even playing drums to welcome the troupes. Organisers hope that these will spur on the leaders and influence the voters.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, along with his close cabinet colleague H C Mahadevappa who flew to Mysuru airport, started his four-day campaign in Chamundeshwari from Lingam Budi palya on the Outer Ring Road. Siddaramaiah expansively advised party men not to destroy publicity material of other political parties.
He sounded confident about winning the votes of Bovi community, a group that is believed to have migrated from Odisha. “We have fielded seven candidates from the community and I am confident that they will all win,” he added. He reminded all present that his government had opened the Bovi Development Corporation.
Siddaramaiah asked a crowd whether he should file his nomination from Chamundeshwari, and was cheered in answer. He said that he would file the papers on April 20. “My son Yathindra will also file papers for Varuna constituency,” he added.
Entering Parasaiahna Hundi in Rama Bhai Nagar, Siddaramaiah walked through the narrow bylanes to visit the local Mahadeshwara and Ganpathy temples to take part in a puja organised by the local residents. He was again met with applause and cheering.
He, with Minister H C Mahadevappa and son Yathindra on either side, waved to all who had gathered in the shade and inside shops.
Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy on his third day of campaigning in Chamundeshwari continued to draw impressive crowds in Koorgalli, Anandur and many more villages.
The JD(S) workers and leaders with party flags gathered women and youngsters at the entrance of villages. As his campaign vehicle reached villages, women took out arathis and showered him with flowers too. More bursting of crackers, and then there were cries for H D Kumaraswamy as the `next Chief Minister’.
As the Kumaraswamy publicity van reached villages, Kumaraswamy made emotional appeals not to let him or the JD(S) candidate G T Deve Gowda down. “I am here to campaign for G T Deve Gowda. A few youngsters in Marballi Hundi waved Congress flags at me, to provoke a reaction. The cops advanced to stop them but I told them not to worry and we proceeded with campaign,” he said.
”I will not bow out because of these pressure tactics as we are well aware of the gimmicks played by Siddaramaiah. CM might have his intellgence but I too have mine,” he said to an applauding crowd.
He did not spend much time on sparring, as he had to cover 33 villages. While, Siddaramaiah, on his tour through 15 villages, missed no occasion to make a pointed remark during speeches.
‘I forced Mahadevappa to contest’
Siddaramaiah said PWD Minister H C Mahadevappa had said that he did not want to contest any election. He said that they prevailed upon him to reconsider and contest the Lok Sabha elections. “We have left Pandavapura to Darshan Puttannaiah. We have also kept five seats vacant and will soon take a call on them,” he added.
‘Voters are not in HDK’s pockets’
‘Voters are not in HDK’s pockets’