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Here the unanimous vote is for water

Anil Kumar Sastry
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Moily, Kumaraswamy, Bache Gowda are in the race

The Chickballapur Lok Sabha constituency, which encompasses the Kempegowda International Airport and parts of Bangalore Rural district, has problems aplenty.

While Yelahanka, Devanahalli and Nelamangala Assembly constituencies are witnessing a surge in real estate development thanks to the proximity of the airport, the other five constituencies — Gauribidanur, Bagepalli, Chickballapur and Doddaballapur — are plagued by water shortage. Though closer to the State capital, infrastructure is inadequate in these four constituencies. The constituency has many rivers, but they are not perennial, leaving the areas parched throughout the year.

As a result, the region is completely dependant on rain and groundwater for both irrigation and drinking water purposes.

Consequently, the major demand of voters in this constituency is safe drinking water, which every political party has made the main electoral issue during successive elections.

Riding over the assurance of providing drinking water from west-flowing rivers, Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily got elected in 2009 with a margin of 51,381 votes.

Mr. Moily’s candidature and his victory was a big surprise since he was neither from the region nor did he have a strong caste support.

Hailing from the region which is ‘likely’ to be affected by the river-diversion [Dakshina Kannada], Mr. Moily’s promise on the Yettinahole project had a big impact on his electoral fortunes.

However, even after five years, Mr. Moily has just been able to get the foundation stone laid for the project amidst strong doubts as to whether the promised 24 tmcft of water would be available from Yettinahole.

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