The backward constituency of Chitradurga has sprung many surprises since the first parliamentary elections in 1952.
Among those who have represented the constituency are a cine actor, a police officer, a retired chief justice and a technocrat. Since 1996, no sitting MP has been re-elected.
Congress has tasted victory nine times in the constituency, which was once represented by former chief minister S Nijalingappa in 1952. The party last won here in 2004 and BJP’s Janardhana Swamy won in 2009.
This time around, Congress has fielded B N Chandrappa, JD(S) former minister Gulihatti Shekhar and BJP Janardhana Swamy, the sitting MP.
The fact that Chandrappa, who belongs to the Adi Karnataka (Madiga) community, is not a “local” man had created a controversy initially, but timely mediation by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and District in-charge Minister H Anjaneya weathered the storm.
Chandrappa hopes that the welfare programmes introduced by the Siddaramaiah government will carry him to victory.
Swamy and Shekhar belong to the Bhovi community. While Swamy’s hopes are pinned on the ‘Modi wave’ and the return of B S Yeddyurappa to the BJP, JD(S) will target Kadu Golla, Bhovi and Vokkaliga voters.
Chitradurga parliamentary constituency comprises eight Assembly constituencies, of which six are in Chitradurga district (Chitradurga, Molakalmuru, Challakere, Hosadurga, Holalkere and Hiriyur) and two in Tumkur district (Sira and Pavagada).
Congress holds five of the Assembly seats, while BJP, JD(S) and BSR Congress hold one each.
The major concerns in the constituency are scarcity of water and contaminated ground water. All the parties have been campaigning promising speedy completion of the ambitious Upper Bhadra drinking water project.