Karnataka polls: JDS has upper hand in old Mysuru region

Barring parts of Tumakuru and Kolar, the no-holds-barred campaigns of the Congress and the JD(S) have witnessed what is locally being called "vengeance politics".

Published: 06th May 2018 11:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th May 2018 11:54 AM   |  A+A-

Former PM Deve Gowda (File | EPS)


MYSURU: Though there is straight fight between Congress and BJP across the State, but in old Mysuru region the war is mainly between Congress and JDS and BJP is yet to make its inroad in this region dominated by voters belonging to Vokkaliga community.

In the last election JDS, out of 40 seats it had won, 14 were from this region.

Barring parts of Tumakuru and Kolar, the no-holds-barred campaigns of the Congress and the JD(S) have witnessed what is locally being called "vengeance politics".

The JD(S) led by former Prime Minister National President H D Deve Gowda and his son former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters and give tough fight to the ruling Congress.

Despite Congress strong campaign in this region, the JD-S has better off to win more seats this time also.

Part of the old Mysore region also has hometurf of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's stronghold of Mysuru district.

Mr Siddaramaiah, who belongs to the backward Kuruba community, has been trying to reach out to the dominant Vokkaligas to say he is not "casteist" but a "secular humanist".

This is to quell the perception that he is "anti-upper caste and anti-Vokkaliga".

The JD(S) has been out of power in the State for almost 10 years, ever since Mr Kumaraswamy resigned as Chief Minister at the end of a 20-month-long JD(S)-BJP government in 2008.

His action also paved way for BJP to make inroads for the first time in South India by coming to power on sympathy votes in 2008.

Training its guns on Siddaramaiah, the JD(S) launched its campaign from Chamundeshwari constitutency, where the CM is seeking re-election after vacating Varuna for his son Yathindra's electoral debut.

Kumaraswamy's campaign for JD(S) candidate Deve Gowda in Chamundeshwari is reminiscent of the bitterly fought by-elections of 2006, when Mr. Siddaramaiah scraped through by a narrow margin after he had quit the JD(S) and joined the Congress.

Though Siddaramaiah initially campaigned in Chamundeshwari, even resorting to an emotional pitch that this was his "last election", he has now opted for a "safe" second seat in Bagalkot's Badami constituency, which also has a sizeable Kuruba population.

The Congress, meanwhile, has sought to turn the heat on the JD(S) by recalling its past association with the BJP when Kumaraswamy aligned with the saffron party to form a coalition government in 2006 with party president Rahul Gandhi, while campaigning in the region, asking the H.D.Deve Gowda-led party to come clean on its support to the "communal" party.

Siddaramaiah even questioned the studied silence of the JD(S) towards the BJP, hinting at a possible post-poll alliance between the two parties.

On the other hand, the BJP's political assault appears to be directed more towards Congress and Mr.

Siddaramaiah than the JD(S). Curiously, former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna, who joined the BJP just ahead of the by-elections to Nanjangud and Gundlupet last year with much fanfare, is yet to make a prominent appearance in the election campaign this year.

River Cauvery, the lifeline and emotional spark in the old Mysore region, seems the no parties have been rising their voices on this vexed Cauvery water dispute but focusing on their own party people oriented issues in the ensuing election campaign.


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