Firoz Rozindar

Delimitation reduces number of segments from six to five

Bharamasagar segment has been done away with

Chitradurga: The district has been a Congress stronghold for decades, with the party managing to win at least five of the seven constituencies in previous elections.

But the changes made in the reservation of constituencies after the delimitation process call for new strategies on the part of local politicians.

With Bharamasagar constituency no longer in existence, the district is left with six Assembly constituencies: Chitradurga, Challakere, Holalkere, Hiriyur, Molakalmur and Hosadurga.

Challakere, which was a general constituency, has now been reserved for the Scheduled Tribes. Holalkere has been reserved for the Scheduled Castes. D. Sudhakar and A.V. Umapathi, who represented the two constituencies, and other Congress leaders, are now eyeing Hiriyur, which comes under the general category.

G.H. Tippareddy, who represented Chitradurga, is also unhappy because Imangala and Turuvanoor villages, which are considered Congress vote banks, are now part of Hiriyur and Challakere constituencies respectively.

Another former MLA who has to look for a new constituency is H. Anjaneya, who represented Bharamasagar in the previous Assembly.

Mr. Anjaneya, who was elected as a Janata Dal (United) candidate, later joined the Janata Dal (Secular). He has now joined the Congress along with the former Deputy Chief Minister M.P. Prakash. He is hoping to be nominated from Holalkere.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has no base in the district. With the intension of gaining some ground, the party has nominated five leaders who switched allegiance from the JD(S) and the Congress.

Only 18.15 per cent of the population lives in urban areas. The poverty level in the district is high because of lack of irrigation facilities and erratic rainfall. Around 41.50 per cent of the people are classified as living below the poverty line.

The people, most of whom depend on agriculture, are demanding better irrigation facilities. They have pinned their hopes on the ambitious Upper Bhadra project, which is under way. The expectation is that once the project is completed, irrigation will bring prosperity to this backward district.