M. Ningamma (80) of Dalimba village in Kanakapura taluk, a part of the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency, has no interest in exercising her franchise on April 17 as she is convinced that no political party could solve the acute water problem in her village.
“Political parties have been making the empty promise of getting the Cauvery water for the last two decades,” Ms. Ningamma, who has voted in 10 general elections so far, said pointing at the parched land opposite her house.
The problem is similar in Ramanagaram, Channapatna, Magadi, Kunigal and Anekal. Residents waiting for water supply tankers is a common sight in several villages.
“Kudio neer beko? Kumaraswamy kanneer beko?” (What do you want: drinking water or Kumaraswamy’s tears?) This is the question being posed to voters by Congress leaders while attacking Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy. They are promising to address the issue by showcasing the efforts of Minister for Power D.K. Shivakumar and his brother and incumbent MP D.K. Suresh, who is seeking re-election.
None from the family
This time, none from JD(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda’s family is contesting from Bangalore Rural. The party has fielded R. Prabhakara Reddy as its candidate. He is banking on the contributions of H.D. Kumaraswamy to the constituency when he was the Chief Minister.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which supported the JD(S) in the byelection held in August last by not fielding a nominee, has named P. Muniraju as its candidate this time. The party is harping on ‘Modi wave’ in urban pockets of this vast constituency.
Ravikrishna Reddy of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is trying to take advantage of differences within the JD(S) after Mr. Kumaraswamy decided against contesting from here and corruption allegations against Mr. Shivakumar and Mr. Suresh. S.R. Hiremath of the Samaj Parivarthan Samudaya is campaigning in favour of Mr. Ravikrishna Reddy. The AAP candidate has released a manifesto for the constituency.
Of the eight Assembly segments in this constituency, JD(S) holds sway in Ramanagaram, Magadi and Kunigal, and Congress in Kanakapura, Anekal and Rajarajeshwarinagar. While the BJP is representing Bangalore South, C.P. Yogeshwar (who was with the Samajwadi Party and joined the Congress recently) is representing the Channapatna segment.
Congress has consolidated its position in the constituency since the byelection with the admission of Mr. Yogeshwar and other local leaders to the party. Mr. Suresh is doing his best to get re-elected by holding interactions in all the Assembly segments and showcasing his programmes.