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It is a study in contrasts constituency watch

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B.S. Satish Kumar

Not one segment from Bangalore Rural district included here

BANGALORE: The name of the newly formed Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha Constituency is a misnomer as none of the Assembly segments from the Bangalore Rural district have been included in this constituency.

However, this constituency has an identity of its own as silk production, wooden toys and lacquer ware have made this area a well known place not only in the country, but in several parts of the world.

The rocky structures in the constituency, which partly adjoins the Bangalore-Mysore State highway, have caught the imaginations of several film makers as the famous Hindi classic Sholay was shot in the villages around Ramadevara Betta in this constituency. This area, which lacks any major irrigation facility, makes significant contribution to the production of mango and betel leaves in addition to the rain-fed ragi varieties.

This is a complex Lok Sabha seat as it spreads over three districts in addition to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike. From the posh houses in Rajarajeshwarinagar to poor huts in villages around Sathanur, this constituency is a study in contrasts.

While some of its areas in Rajarajeshwarinagar Assembly segment fall under BBMP, four Assembly segments come under the newly-formed Ramanagaram district and the remaining three are spread over Bangalore Urban and Tumkur districts. Formerly part of the Kanakapura Lok Sabha Constituency, which was abolished, it comprises Ramanagaram, Channapatna, Magadi, Kanakapura (Ramanagaram district), Bangalore South, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Anekal (Bangalore Urban district) and Kunigal (Tumkur district) Assembly segments.

The level of development of these Assembly segments is not uniform as they fall under different districts spread over 200 km.

However, the four Assembly segments coming under the Ramanagaram district got some facelift after the formation of the new district. The problems here are far from over as silk industry, which provides direct and indirect employment to thousands, is in distress and several filatures and reeling units are closed.

Even the traditional toy industry is in a mess because of recession and shortage of timber. This area is devoid of any major industries, but for Jigani in Anekal and Bidadi industrial area.

A large number of industrial units cleared by the Government have not yet come up. Although some garment factories have come up, they are reeling under recession.

This constituency, which is close to Bangalore city, makes for an interesting sociological and economic study on the impact of urbanisation on the traditional occupations. Large tracts of agricultural land are being converted into housing sites. Farmers are lured by real-estate businessmen from cities to sell their lands.

In the delimitation process, this constituency got most of the Assembly segments from the erstwhile Kanakapura Lok Sabha seat.

The only changes were that Uttarahally segment has been divided and only parts from it have been added to Bangalore Rural while Kunigal Assembly segment has replaced Malavalli. Delimitation has reduced the size of the electorate as Kanakapura had 26.95 lakh voters. Now Bangalore Rural has 18.65 lakh voters.

Of the eight Assembly segments in the constituency, three each are held by the BJP and the Congress and two by the Janata Dal (S).

Tejaswini of the Congress is the Kanakapura MP. Once a Congress bastion with its member M.V. Chandrashekharamurthy winning it for six times, the BJP too has won it once. JD (S) has won it twice including the victory of its president H.D. Deve Gowda in the by-elections and that of its legislature party leader H.D. Kumaraswamy in 1996.

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