Setback for former Karnataka minister TB Jayachandra as young gun sent to Sira Assembly seat

Sasalu Sathish had unsuccessfully fought the 2013 Assembly polls from the Chikkanayakanahalli seat on a Congress ticket, and ended up losing even the deposit.

Published: 20th January 2022 04:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th January 2022 11:44 AM   |  A+A-

Former Karnataka minister TB Jayachandra

Former Karnataka minister TB Jayachandra (File photo| EPS)

Express News Service

TUMAKURU: In what may be seen as a setback for former minister TB Jayachandra -- who lost two back-to-back polls, including the 2018 general elections and the 2020 bypolls from the Sira Assembly constituency -- a younger leader from a backward community, Sasalu Sathish, has firmly entrenched himself in Sira, well ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls.

Claiming that Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Siddaramaiah, has given him the go-ahead, Sathish has already begun meeting people in the constituency, while he also plans to construct a residence-cum-office in Sira town to connect more easily with the constituents.

Sathish had unsuccessfully fought the 2013 Assembly polls from the neighbouring Chikkanayakanahalli constituency on a Congress ticket, and ended up losing even the deposit.

He is now attempting to test the political waters from Sira, which comprises a sizable population of his Kadugolla community. Recently, he had also campaigned for 27 Congress candidates for the Sira City Municipal Council polls, 11 of whom won, sources said.

On Wednesday, the 42-year-old Kadugolla leader launched his campaign bid by seeking the blessings of the Gandihalli Mutt, a place of worship for sections of both Hindus and Muslims, along with the blessings of Junjappa, a deity of the Golla community.

The Kagugollas constitute a considerable voter base in the constituency, as over 100 hamlets inhabited by them fall under Sira Assembly segment. The Gollas, traditionally cattle grazers, had supported BJP candidate Dr CM Rajesh Gowda in the bypolls, ensuring his win.

But the government allegedly did not recognise this, and even ignored the community by failing to establish a corporation as promised. Also, none of the leaders were rewarded, remarked Maranna, a community leader.

Jayachandra is seemingly not in the good books of AICC general secretary and Karanataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, since the latter had second thoughts about fielding him in the bypolls.

Hence, losing the bypolls turned a bane for Jayachandra, following which younger leaders like Sathish have been vying to replace his position for the 2023 polls. "Siddaramaiah has given me the go-ahead. I have been preparing for the 2023 Assembly polls, and am hopeful of getting the ticket," Sathish told TNIE.

Meanwhile, local Congress leaders, especially from the Kunchagita Vokkaliga community, believe that it is difficult for a member of any other community to win the Sira seat, which has been held by their representatives for several terms. 

Interestingly, the JDS is likely to field Kuruba leader and MLC Tippeswamy from Sira, as he had also worked for the party during the CMC polls. If two backward class leaders contest, it will help incumbent BJP MLA Dr C M Rajesh Gowda, as he will be the lone Kunchatiga Vokkaliga leader.


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