Muralidhara Khajane

Vatal may upset the calculations of BJP, Congress, and JD(S)

There are 6,987 voters in the constituency

MYSORE: The Mysore local authorities’ constituency comprising Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts is likely to witness a quadrangular contest for the two posts for which election will be held on December 18.

Sandhesh Nagaraj of the Janata Dal (Secular), Congress MLC N. Manjunath, K. Mallikarjunappa of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vatal Nagaraj of Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha are in the fray along with nine independent candidates.

Strong presence

While the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) have a strong presence in the constituency, the Bharatiya Janata Party is trying its best to establish its control over it.

Of the 15 Assembly constituencies in the two districts, the Congress is representing 11, Bharatiya Janata Party three and the Janata Dal (Secular) one.

Of the 6,987 voters, 6,327 are members of gram panchayats.

Though they have identified themselves with various political parties, they have not been elected on any party symbol.

They are free to exercise their franchise in favour of any candidate in the coming election.

“It is in view of this the Bharatiya Janata Party is making all efforts to woo them in its favour through various means” says a senior Janata Dal (Secular) leader.

Winning this seat has become a prestige issue for the three political parties.

While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is leaving no stone unturned to win the seat, the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) are trying their best to retain their hold on the constituency.

For the first time, the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress are having an understanding to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party, according to Congress MP Vishwanath.

Prestige issue

Retaining the seat has become a prestige issue for Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah in view of the party’s defeat in the recent byelection to the Assembly from the Kollegal constituency.

It is a challenge for Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister and MLA S.A. Ramadas in the absence of in-charge ministers for both the districts.

“The party has fielded its candidate for one seat and has formulated strategies to win it by grabbing 4,000 first preference votes,” Mr. Ramadas says.

Mr. Vatal Nagaraj, who is a popular leader in Chamarajanagar, may upset the calculations of the Congress, Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Considering the strength in the local bodies, winning the seat may not be difficult for the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular).