Hassan, a Vokkaliga-dominated district, has witnessed caste-based politics. SC/STs, Veerashaivas, Kurubas, minorities and Naikas are also key factors here. The JD(S) is making efforts to retain the five seats it won last time, while Congress is trying to improve its tally from two.
The KJP is making all efforts to open an account in Belur, Sakleshpur and Arsikere Assembly constituencies where Veerashaivas are in large numbers. The BJP has no base here. In Hassan, JD(S) has fielded sitting MLA H S Prakash and he faces strong opposition from his own party. The main fight is between Congress and JD(S). Minorities, who are the deciding factor, are likely to back the Congress. The BJP has fielded Guruprasad, a surprise candidate.
Holenarasipur is a sensitive constituency where former minister H D Revanna is the JD(S) candidate. G Anupama, who lost to Revanna in the previous elections, is the Congress candidate. The straight fight is between the Congress and the JD(S). Revanna took up brisk campaigns across the constituency along with his wife and two sons for the first time following a prediction of his defeat. Development works carried out by him and sympathy factor may help.
Shravanabelagola may see an interesting clash between former JD(S) MLA C S Puttegowda, who is the Congress candidate this time, and H D Deve Gowda’s kin C N Balakrishna, the JD(S) nominee. Manjunath (BJP) and eight other candidates are in the fray. Both Vokkaliga candidates are aiming at OBC votes that are decisive.
Belur is set to witness a triangular fight among former JD(S) MLA H M Vishvanath from KJP, K S Lingesh from JD(S) and sitting MLA Y N Rudreshgowda from Congress.Veerashaivas dominate here with 59,000 votes. It cannot be ruled out that they might support H M Vishvanath. BJP has fielded a new face Lakshman.
In Arsikere , the Congress has fielded former minister B Shivaram, JD(S) sitting MLA K M Shivalinge Gowda and KJP Lokesh. In Arkalgud, retired IAS officer Puttaswamy contesting from the KJP, Yoga Ramesh, an independent, Congress sitting MLA A Manju and JD(S)’s A T Ramaswamy are in the fray. Except MLA H K Kumaraswamy from the JD(S), all others are new faces in Sakleshpur. SC/STs dominate here but Veerashaiva and Vokkaliga votes matter.