The Mysore Lok Sabha constituency (Mysore-Kodagu after delimitation) has always backed Congress except in the 1998 and 2004 elections.
The April 17 polls has turned out to be a prestige battle for the Congress, especially for Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The Congress is striving hard to win the constituency as it is the CM’s home turf while the BJP wants to trounce Siddaramaiah. The JD(S), on the other hand, wants to settle scores defeating the Congress for eroding its base by winning last year’s bypolls in Mandya and Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituencies.
Though it is a triangular contest, political pundits consider it to be a contest between the Congress and the BJP.
The constituency has sent many stalwarts like M S Gurupadaswamy (1951), M Shankaraiah (1957, 1962), H D Tulsidasappa (1967, 1971, 1977), M Rajshekar Murthy (1980), Srikanta Datta Narsimharaja Wadiyar (1984, 1989, 1996, 1999) and Chandraprabha Urs (1991) to Parliament.
The BJP tasted success twice, in 1998 and 2004, when its candidate C H Vijayshankar won from here.
Former minister and sitting MP A H Vishwanath is taking on journalist Pratap Simha (BJP) and former Upa Lokayukta Chandrashekaraiah (JD(S)).The constituency comprises eight Assembly seats, of which the Congress represents five -- Krishnaraja, Chamaraja, Narashimraja, Hunsur, and Periyapatna. While the BJP won in Madikeri and Virajpet, JD(S) won the Chamundeshwari seat. The constituency is dominated by both urban and rural voters. The constituency has a majority of Vokkaliga voters, followed by dalits, Veerashaivas, Kurubas, Muslims, Nayakas, Upparas, Kodavas and others. It also has a considerable tribal population in Hunsur, Periyapatna and Kodagu.All three parties are targeting the Vokkaligas, Veerashaivas, dalits and backward communities.
The Congress is working to consolidate Ahinda votes and also trying to win back upper caste votes. While the BJP is hoping to ride on the Modi wave to success, the JD(S) is targeting both the national parties. The JD(S) is supported by the Social Democratic Party of India.
Aam Aadhmi Party candidate M B Padamma, a social worker in the fray, has sought a vote for change. BSP candidate Mohan Kumar is eyeing the dalit votes.
The BJP has fielded Pratap Simha, a columnist. Congress’ Vishwanath, author of five books, is banking on the charisma of the CM and the programmes of the Union and state governments.
He has also managed to bring in a second instalment of JnNURM funds, centrally-sponsored housing schemes and has got the survey for Mysore-Kushalnagar railway line done. Pratap Simha has many projects in mind to make Mysore a model constituency by bringing in industries, promoting tourism and making Mysore a prominent destination for higher education.
The main issues in the region are man-animal conflict, rail connectivity from Mysore to Kushalnagar, special grants for promoting tourism, apprehension over implementation of the recommendations of the Kasturirangan report and opposition to the planned transmission line passing through Kodagu.