Shama Sunder

This will be Deve Gowda’s last election, says confidante Javare Gowda

Kadur has been incorporated into the Hassan parliamentary constituency

B. Shivaram on shaky ground as Congress workers yet to accept his candidacy

HASSAN: With State units of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party having finalised their candidates for the Hassan Lok Sabha seat, the electoral battle is all set to begin. The Congress has forwarded the name of B. Shivaram to the All-India Congress Committee, while the BJP has decided to field Jyothi Gurudev.

The district is a well-known Janata Dal (Secular) stronghold as is evident from the results of the recent Assembly elections. Five of the seven MLAs from the district belong to the JD(S) while the other two are Congressmen.

Except for the Sakleshpur MLA, all others are from the Vokkaliga community. Now that Kadur in Chikmagalur has been made part of the Hassan Lok Sabha segment, the Congress is also a force to reckon with as the MLA is a Congress candidate.

Both the former Prime Minister and Hassan MP H.D. Deve Gowda and Mr. Shivaram belong to the Vokkaliga community, while Ms. Gurudev is from the Veerashaiva community.

Total population

With the inclusion of Kadur, the total population of the constituency is 21 lakh (total voters are 14.01 lakh).

Of this, 2.36 per cent are Brahmins, 31.50 are Vokkaligas, 16.88 are Veerashaivas, 6.88 are minorities, 17.75 are Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and 24.7 per cent constitute Other Backward Classes.

Of the 14.01 lakh voters, 7,09,301 are men and 6,92,143 women. Kadur has 1,73,750 voters.

Speaking to The Hindu, the former MP and district JD(S) president H.K. Javare Gowda said they had already started their campaign and this time hoped to win by a margin of not less than six lakh votes. “People here have seen the development that took place during the H.D. Kumaraswamy regime. With the BJP taking over, all projects in the district have come to a standstill. This is Mr. Deve Gowda’s last election. He started his political career from Hassan and will end it here,” he said.

Defeated

Mr. Shivaram, on the other hand, is a four-time MLA, but was defeated in the recent Assembly polls. He was a Minister in the N. Dharam Singh Cabinet. The Congress is a divided house in the district, and it remains to be seen whether the party workers will wholeheartedly accept Mr. Shivaram’s candidacy.

The BJP, however, is yet to make an impact here. Despite coming to power, it has not made any effort to take the people of Hassan into confidence. Except for sporadic visits by Ministers, nothing substantial has been done here by the party leadership. District in-charge Minister Arvind Limbavali too has not invested much time in the development of Hassan, as he has to look after Bagalkot too.

Ms. Gurudev was nominated to the City Municipal Council by the JD(S). Her husband was a JD(S) MLC. During the 2008 Assembly elections, he joined the BJP but did not vacate his Council seat. Ms. Gurudev was earlier in the Congress and later joined the BJP.

The triangular contest is likely to witness interesting results owing to facts such as the present position the BJP holds in State affairs, and Hassan’s loyalty to the JD(S).

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