Many Chief Ministers have lost power after visiting the town

Even as the Congress government is planning to bring in an anti-superstition bill, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is scheduled to visit jinxed Chamarajanagar, which most politicians avoid because of the superstitious belief that setting foot in the town will cost them their post.

In the past, most Chief Ministers have either avoided visiting the place or only gone there towards the end of the term. It is uncertain what is at the root of this belief about Chamarajanagar, a district classified in the D.M. Nanjundappa Committee Report on Redressal of Regional Imbalance as the most backward in the State.

The political genesis of the jinx theory goes back to the times of D. Devaraj Urs who lost power within six months of his visit to Chamarajanagar in 1980 and a series of coincidences that followed. His successor R. Gundu Rao too met the same fate in 1982.

Adverse political developments forced Ramakrishna Hegde and S.R. Bommai to give up their post. They visited Chamarajanagar in 1988 and 1989, respectively. Congress eased out Veerendra Patil within six months after he visited Chamarajanagar in 1991.

Chief Ministers who succeeded Mr. Patil, including S. Bangarappa, M. Veerappa Moily, H.D. Deve Gowda, J.H. Patel, S.M. Krishna and N. Dharam Singh, avoided visiting Chamarajanagar. Though Chamarajanagar was carved out of Mysore as an independent district in 1997 during the tenure of J.H. Patel, he avoided visiting the district. He, in fact, inaugurated the district at a function organised in M.M. Hills in Kollegal, 40 km from Chamarajanagar. Mr. Krishna only visited Kollegal and M.M. Hills during his tenure as Chief Minister, but avoided Chamarajanagar. Over the last two decades, only six Chief Ministers have visited Chamarajanagar.

The former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy visited Chamarajanagar, and he too lost power because of political developments. Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who avoided visiting Chamarajanagar after assuming office, addressed an election rally at Gundlupet. Most of Mr. Yeddyurappa’s Cabinet colleagues also avoided going to Chamarajanagar. While D.V. Sadananda Gowda avoided visiting the place, his successor Jagadish Shettar went there at the end of his term.

Mr. Siddaramaiah, however, promised to visit Chamarajanagar on becoming the Chief Minister during a pre-election rally held in the town. He is firm on keeping his promise, said H.S. Mahadeva Prasad, Minister for Cooperation and in-charge of Chamarajanagar district.

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