D. Kishan Rao
Many prominent leaders from other parties join the BJP
JD(S) appears to be weak in many constituencies
Raichur: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to have made significant gains in the district with the polarisation of political forces after the collapse of the Janata Dal(S)-BJP coalition Government in the State.
The worst affected is the Janata Dal (S), which has been marginalised with most of its leaders joining other parties. The BJP made a good beginning by admitting Raja Rangappa Naik, former MP, into it two months ago. Mr. Rangappa Naik was elected MP in 1996 from Raichur constituency as a Janata Dal candidate. He contested in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, but was defeated by the Congress. He joined the Congress before the elections to the Lok Sabha in 2004.
The BJP’s position improved further with the admission of the former MLAs Gangadhara Naik of the Congress and Bassangouda Byagwat of the Janata Dal (S). Later, the former Minister M.S. Patil, who after leaving the Janata Dal (S) had identified himself with the Samajwadi Party, joined the BJP. Recently, senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Basavaraj Patil Anwari joined the BJP.
The former Minister Muniyappa Muddappa of the Janata Dal (S) joined the BJP on Friday along with his supporters, including J.C. Patil, former Chairman of the Hutti Gold Mines; Yuvarajappa and G. Gopal Reddy, former chairmen of Raichur Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee; Kadgol Anjaneya, former Chairman of the Raichur Development Authority; and Buddangouda, former organising secretary of the State unit of the Janata Dal (S).
These leaders may help the BJP in winning over voters from backward classes, especially from the Naik community, and the Veerashaiva community. The entry of Mr. Rangappa Naik and Mr. Gangadhara Naik, who enjoy support among the Naiks, may help the party improve its position in Raichur Rural, Manvi and Deodurga constituencies. The BJP is likely to field them in Raichur Rural and Manvi constituencies, respectively. There is a possibility of Mr. Rangappa Naik contesting the Lok Sabha from Raichur constituency. The BJP may ask Mr. Anwari to contest from Raichur Rural or Sindhanur. Though Mr. Muniyappa has joined the party without any condition, the BJP may give him a chance to contest from Hiriyur (Chitradurga district) where the Yadav community is a force to reckon with. Though the Congress appears to have gained little with the polarisation of political forces in the district, the party is firm as far as election preparations are concerned. Though the party seems to have gained some favour among the Veerashaivas after inducting Bayyapur into it, the absence of Mr. Rangappa Naik and Mr. Anwari, who are from the Veerashaiva and Naik communities, respectively, may alter its calculations.
The JD(S) appears to be weak in many constituencies. There seems to be no coordination between the party’s district unit president, Sheik Rizwan, and the former Minister Hanumanthappa Alkod in strengthening the party. It is learnt that Mr. Rizwan was allegedly attacked by followers of Mr. Alkod at meeting in Deodurga on Friday.