It’s a no-holds-barred contest between a grandfather and his grandson in Deodur Assembly Constituency in Raichur district, identified as one of the most backward taluks of Karnataka.
Four-time MP Venkatesh Naik of the Congress is pitted against his grandson and former Minister Shivanagouda Naik of the BJP in the constituency dominated by the Valmiki Naiks, a Scheduled Tribe community. This is a repeat of the situation in 2008.
All in the family
In the 2008 elections, Mr. Shivanagouda Naik, a greenhorn in the politics, surprised everybody by defeating his grandfather, considered a political heavyweight with considerable influence over the voters. Mr. Shivanagouda Naik had contested on Janata Dal (Secular) ticket in 2008 and later hopped to BJP as part of the infamous ‘Operation Lotus’ within 38 days being elected. In the byelection that followed, he defeated his uncle B.V. Naik (son of Mr. Venkatesh Naik) of the Congress.
The situation is quite dramatically changed since then, and Congress is now a comeback trail and there is a direct fight between Congress and BJP candidates.
Although the Devadurga Assembly Constituency has been represented in almost all the ministries so far, it has remained backward and recent grabbed attention of the national media because of cases of malnutrition, forcing the Karnataka High Court to intervene and constitute a high level committee to look into it.
The elections in Karnataka will see a few other relatives fighting elections from opposite camps, including sons of former chief minister S. Bangarappa. While Kumar Bangarappa is contesting on a Congress ticket, Madhu Bangarappa is the J(S) candidate.