Karnataka Poll Watch 6 : Chitradurga, Tumkur, Mandya

Chitradurga: A triangular contest with focus on local issues

Assembly constituencies: 8
Total electorate:  16, 37,814
Candidates in fray: 16 
Sitting MP:  Janardhana Swamy Reddy (BJP)

Having won the constituency nine times Congress had a firm grip on this constituency until Janata Dal put an end to Congress party’s dominance in 1996.  In 2009 the BJP tasted success here when its candidate Janardhana Swamy trounced Dr B Thippeswamy of the Congress party by over 1, 35,000 votes. The constituency is dominated by the Madiga community   comprising about 1/3 of the total electorate.  In this election Congress has fielded B N Chandrappa  and JD (S)  Goolihatti Shekar who lived up to his name  by standing on the table inside the assembly and ripped his shirt open  during the trust vote of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.  

In 2009 with an eye on the Madiga community votes the Congress had fielded Thippeswamy who belongs to this community.  But the internal fight within the Congress and a strong pro-BJP wave proved to be his undoing.   It seems the Congress has not learnt a lesson from this experience as the party has failed project itself as a united force.   Congress leader Dr Thippeswamy who had lost to Janardhanaswamy in 2009 had filed nomination papers as a rebel candidate after failing to secure the seat for him.  However, good sense prevailed and he withdrew it on the last day.

Janardhana Swamy (BJP), BN Chandrappa (Cong), Goolihatti Chandrashekar (JDS)

The constituency is witnessing a triangular fight here as JD(S) has fielded a known turncoat   Goolihatti Shekar, who tasted defeat in 2013 assembly elections from Hosadurga.  Chitradurga is a reserved constituency for SC and sitting MP Janardhanaswamy is known as an honest and pro-people leader.  He is known for his capacity for getting the central grant directly to the constituency.  The only grouse against him is that he has not responded positively to the aspirations of the party workers.   The worrisome aspect for him is that his opponent from JD(S) Goolihatti Shekar belongs to the same Bovi community, to which he too belongs and that might divide the community votes which might benefit the Congress. 

Goolihatti is also eyeing the traditional Vokkaliga and Yadava votes apart from banking on the votes of his own community. But his reputation of being a party hopper is something that might work against him. 

For the people of the constituency the only dream is to get proper irrigation facilities and also find a permanent solution to the drinking water problem.  Completing upper Bhadra Project would be a solution to these twin problems. Naturally they will be inclined towards the party which is capable of completing the Upper Bhadra project.  

Bavana, a transgender, who runs a daba is also contesting as an independent candidate apart from candidates from AAP, SP, BSP and JD (U).

Tumkur:  A prestigious triangular contest  

Assembly constituencies: 8
Total electorate: 
Candidates in the fray:   16
Sitting MP:  G S Basavaraj (BJP)

As JD(S) represents four assembly seats here as against three of the Congress and one of BJP, Tumkur can be termed as JD(S) bastion.  Naturally the constituency is witnessing a triangular contest and winning it will be a matter of prestige for all the three major players.  Interestingly,   Sitting MP  Basavaraj who is a  four time MP from this constituency  had won the elections three times as a Congress candidate  and once on BJP ticket.  His rivals in the fray A Krishnappa of JD(S), who is the JD(S) state president and S P Mudduhanumegowda of Congress whom he had defeated in the 2009 elections when he was the JD(S) nominee by a margin of 21,445 votes. 

GS Basavaraj (BJP), A Krishnappa (JDS), Mudduhanumegowda (Cong)

There is much in stake for all the three major contenders.  For the Congress Mudduhanumegowda’s victory will be of great consequence as KPCCI Presdient G Parameshwar hails from here.  For Chief Minister Siddaramaigh too it is matter of great importance to ensure the victory of the Congress candidate.   For JD(S) a victory for its state president would be a great moreale booster as the party’s strength is declining due to desertions.  

Though Basavaraj’s candidature was opposed by Congress leaders of the district unit he was successful in getting the ticket due to the influence of B S Yeddyurappa who had demanded Tumkur, Haveri and Udupi constituencies for his supporters.  This internal strife within the BJP might affect the prospects of the BJP candidate. At the same time it cannot be denied that Basavaraj has his own individual clout in the area and is capable of winning irrespective of the party.

The Congress party has been working relentlessly to ensure a victory for Muddahanumegowda and being the ruling party it has the advantage as compared to his rivals. 

If Basavaraj is able to retain the constituency it would add to the stature of Yeddyurappa in the BJP.       

Mandya: Congress hopes sweet results from sugar belt of state

Assembly constituencies: 8  
Total Electorate: 16,41,671
Candidates in the fray: 16
Sitting M P: Ramya (Congress)

It was just eight months ago that actor-turned politician Ramya contested and won from Mandya by a margin of over 67,000 votes defeating her rival C S Puttaraju of JD(S).  That made her the youngest MP at 31.  The constituency is once again witnessing the fight between these two rivals.  The BJP has fielded a political novice in Prof B Shivalingaih, an educationist who is making his political debut in this constituency. 

Though nothing has changed in the last eight months the infighting in the Congress has reached its crescendo due to the open and ugly war between Congress veterans S M Krishna and actor Ambareesh, two prominent Vokkaliga leaders of the party who hail from Mandya.

Ramya (Cong), C S Puttaraju (JDS), Prof B Shivalingaih (BJP)

Though it is well known for quite some time that Krishna and Ambareesh cannot get along well, during these elections their animosity has come out in the open and this has cast a big shadow on the prospects of Ramya retaining her seat.  Both these leaders, who belong to the Vokkaliga community, wield considerable influence in Mandya and the infighting between these two groups  is causing headache for the Congress leaders.  It would be a shame and embarrassment for the Congress if it loses the constituency because of infighting. This infighting had disastrous results for the Congress in 2013 elections as it cost lost two assembly seats for the party. Congressmen do not wish to make such mistakes again but the situation has gone beyond control. The ill-health of Ambareesh, who was unwell for the last one month, was another big setback for the Congress which was deprived of the services of this star actor.
JD(S) candidate Puttaraju is concentrating his efforts to grab the traditional JD(S) votes.   Puttaraju’s name is linked to the illegal site allotment case of Mandya Urban Development Authority.  Apart from this his opponents are also seeking action against him for conducting blasts near Krishnaraja Sagar. 

BJP candidate Shivalingaiah, who owns several educational institutions in the district, is a political novice.   Apart from the support of traditional BJP voters he is banking on the popularity of his wife Meera Shivalingaiah who is the President of Mandya district Kannada Sahitya Parishat.  

If the Congress leaders give up their ego trips and fight unitedly (which is unlikely) it is not difficult to ensure the victory for Ramya.    Nonetheless, Mandya is going to witness a keen contest and the very uncertainty is what drives the candidates campaign harder.


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Comment on this article

  • flavian dsouza, chik/banaglore

    Tue, Apr 15 2014

    what dongi cong has done in the past ..sent rakesh sharma to the moon in 1984, from importing food grains to now exporting, polio wiped out from india, 3 lak kms of national highways in last 10 years alone,from impoorting milk powder to now surplus , nucluer power for which we should give credit to Manmohan singh we will have excess power in the next ten years , minimum farmers support price hiked by 300 %, 10000 ITI's, 16 IIT's , IIM's 10, record FDI in last 10 years, 40% of the population with a mobile, NIRMAL bhart nirman has built 50,000 and will build toiltes to ensure there is no open defecation by 2020,RTE, Right to health which is promised in the manifesto, right to food, ability to launch space vehicles , metros in every major city, 10 world class airports, 400 channels from three in 1970 and only handfull of TV's,internet in every village, modernization of 2000 post offices across the country,JNURM has provided more then 1 lak buses and funded many urban infrastructure projects like sewage treatments etc,SSA scheme has provided to upgrade infrastructure inschools and mid day meals which has increased enrollment in rural areas,the industrial corridors planned will create employment for lakhs, banking licences will creata many new opportunities, govt staff salaries hiked by 100% in the last 10 years ...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru

    Tue, Apr 15 2014

    Chitradurga and Tumkur will be in BJP's fold.

    Mandya will go to JDS bucket.

    DisAgree [12] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rameshanna, kinnigoli

    Tue, Apr 15 2014

    This time congress party's doing well in Karnataka that's why congress will get 1820 loka shaba seats jai ho kai

    DisAgree [13] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • sandesh, udupi/dubai

    Tue, Apr 15 2014

    jossey add fake gandhis in the list

    DisAgree [12] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Apr 15 2014

    At present in all three constituencies, JDS is little edge over other parties. If same trend contineous till election day, JDS will be the winner in these 3 constituencies.

    DisAgree [18] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rajesh Shetty, Mlore Shj

    Tue, Apr 15 2014

    But Ismail Perinje was telling Ramya got "ANEBALA" since Ambareesh came back from Singapore, but the ground reality is that Ambareesh group does not support Ramya in Congress itself. Then where is ANEBALA ???...bus youhi..kuch bhi...

    DisAgree [16] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Apr 15 2014

    Rajesh Shetty, Mlore Shj, in 2006 Ambarish became Central Minister, Congress people told that now Congress party got "ANEBALA". For this Devegowda commented that if they got now "ANEBALA" what they are having earlier ?? is it "NAIBALA"????

    DisAgree [10] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • sid, mangalore

    Tue, Apr 15 2014

    We are so excited to know BJP is doing so well . Dongi Congis are Kicked away . Bye Bye Dongi Congis ....Nation needs a Leader like Modi

    DisAgree [53] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Bryan, Bahrain

    Tue, Apr 15 2014

    BJP, Is a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear, SPECIALLY MINORITIES...

    DisAgree [19] Agree [41] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Apr 15 2014

    We are fed up with FAKE polls, TV interviews and social media...

    DisAgree [23] Agree [54] Reply Report Abuse

  • jeevan, mangalore

    Tue, Apr 15 2014

    Not only you dear... whole indians are fed up dongi congi rule...

    DisAgree [50] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Karnataka Poll Watch 6 : Chitradurga, Tumkur, Mandya

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