Former Cabinet colleagues hit campaign trail in Rajajinagar

In cosmopolitan Rajajinagar, the contest is largely between two formidable candidates; they were once part of the same Cabinet, but now are political rivals.

Shobha Karandlaje and S. Suresh Kumar are leaving no stone unturned to woo the Rajajinagar electorate.

The two, who haven’t come face to face despite expensively campaigning in the constituency, have adopted different approaches to electioneering.

He is campaigning with much fanfare, armed with booklets and pamphlets listing the works taken up in the constituency in the last five years, while she goes door to door, holding a coconut (the Karnataka Janata Paksha symbol) and asks people to vote for the party.

“Tenginakaige mata kodi ma…” (vote for the coconut), she says as she walks through the streets of Rajajinagar, followed by a group of women.

The Hindu caught up with her when she was in Basaveshwaranagar, drawing large crowds.

Sagar Talikote, a BE graduate, who was seen taking photographs of her, was among those thrilled to see her.

His parents, Vijay Rao Talikote and Kalpana Talikote, openly declared their support for the KJP. “We are from Gulbarga. Yeddyurappa is famous in our parts,” Ms. Kalpana Talikote says.

As Ms. Karandlaje moves to a multi-storeyed building, some residents peep down from their first floor balcony. Looking up and holding aloft the coconut, she repeats the appeal. “I need to show them the coconut to register our party’s symbol in their minds,” she says.

‘Tough fight’

To a question on what were her chances of winning as she was contesting against a Minister, KPCC women’s wing chief Manjula Naidu, and the wealthy S.T. Anand of the Janata Dal (Secular), she admits that the going is tough.

In contrast to Ms. Karandlaje’s style, Mr. Suresh Kumar’s campaign (we caught up with him on the congested roads of Prakashnagar) is a noisy affair filled with the rhythmic beat of drums, bursting of firecrackers and shrill whistles.

Women’s support

Flanked by his followers and a fairly large group of women, Mr. Suresh Kumar is getting ready for the arrival of senior leader M. Venkaiah Naidu for a roadshow. “We have the support of women too,” he says.

“Ms. Karandlaje is just testing the waters. You can speak to my wife for more details on the support by women. She has campaigned extensively to garner support from stree shakti , ” he says.