BAVALI (KARNATAKA-KERALA BORDER) : Heggadadevana Kote in Chamarajanagar Lok Sabha constituency may be done and dusted with elections, but there is a lingering excitement in the Karnataka-Kerala border villages. For across the Kabini, a high-voltage battle is unfolding -- Nehru-Gandhi scion Rahul Gandhi is testing his electoral fortunes in Wayanad.
Quite suddenly, this corner of Kerala has become a political hotspot, a place which just may elect a prime minister. Congress leaders, CPM, NDA honchos are making a beeline to this lush hill station district, delivering high-decibel speeches and holding massive rallies.
So for villagers who have just been through a lacklustre election campaign in Chamarajanagar, the excitement lies in neighbouring territory, where many of their relatives live. Hundreds are crossing the river in boats to Sultan Bathery assembly segment, which falls under Wayanad constituency, to soak in the thrill. Labourers from Karnataka working in estates and fields on the other side, are tracking the UDF and LDF campaigns.
Loudspeakers blare speeches and announcements in Parekalur village which can be heard on the banks of D B Kuppe village in Karnataka.Sanna Swamy said he is thrilled that Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Wayanad. “I visit friends and relatives in Kerala and discuss the Congress campaign,” he says. P E Roy said they were tracking the Karnataka elections all these days, but the sudden entry of Rahul changed everything, as everyone, from youngsters to old-timers, got hooked to the Wayanad developments.
The majority of the population, which is politically enlightened, reads out headlines in vernacular newspapers on Mandya and other high-pitched battles. Rahul Gandhi’s entry has upped the contest as the ruling LDF and NDA have also stepped up their campaign