Muralidhara Khajane

Puttannaiah to contest elections

Students’ and women’s meet on April 2 and 14 ‘Response to election rallies encouraging’

Mysore: Mandya is likely to witness a quadrangular fight as Sarvodaya Karnataka Party (SKP) is making inroads into this sugar bowl and is making efforts to win the hearts of farmers and Dalits here.

Amid chaos in the camps of Congress and BJP over the selection of candidates, Mandya Lok Sabha constituency is all set to witness an interesting battle for ballots. The JD (S) will field the former Transport Minister N. Chaluvarayaswamy and has already started campaigning here.

The party’s major strength lies in the fact that it has its legislators in five of the eight Assembly seats. No wonder JD (S) is a step ahead of other political parties which are still groping in the dark for suitable candidate to fight against Mr. Chaluvarayaswamy.

With tentative candidates in their baskets, both the Congress and the BJP are waiting for the decision of cine star and Union Minister M.H. Ambareesh, who in all probability will take a decision on whether to stay in or quit Congress soon.

The Sarvodaya Karnataka Party (SKP) will field president of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), K.S. Puttannaiah from Mandya constituency.

The SKP which comprises two pro-people organisations, KRRS and Dalit Sangharsha Samithi (DSS), has launched its campaign in this Vokkaliga dominated constituency even as Mr. Puttannaiah is recuperating at a hospital after undergoing heart surgery.

The SKP has adopted a unique campaign. Its members are moving about in small groups across the constituency appealing to the electorates.

They are addressing small groups in villages and conducting meetings at the hobli levels. KRRS leaders,

Nanjunde Gowda and Ashok and DSS leader Guruprasad Keragodu are touring the constituency and trying to win the confidence of women and Dalits.

“We are hoping to get at least 1.50 lakh votes in Srirangapatna and Melkote Assembly segments,” said Mr. Guruprasad.

Mr. Guruprasad said that the KSP was planning to hold a Students’ convention on April 2 and a Women’s convention on April 14.

“In case ailing Puttannaiah could not file nomination in person, activists of SKP will wear Puttannaiah’s mask during the nomination and campaign with masks on”, he declared.

The SKP conducted over 10 election meetings and the response was encouraging, Mr. Guruprasad said. He admitted that Mr. Puttannaiah’s illness had hampered their campaign to some extent.

However, if Mr. Ambareesh contests, it would be a blessing in disguise. SKP will take on JD (S) and other political parties in this quadrangular contest as Mr. Ambareesh would cut into the vote bank of JD (S), he observed.