Karnataka 2018

Assembly poll ticket aspirants need to impress party surveyors first

People being handed out food at an ‘Anna Canteen’ (named after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah) opened by M. Eeranna, an ally of the CM, at Manvi town in Raichur district.   | Photo Credit: SANTOSH SAGAR

At Manvi town in Raichur, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s follower M. Eeranna is busy with what he calls “social work”. He has been financing community borewells, contributing to sports events, and so on.

What he hopes to achieve is not just the goodwill of voters; he also wants to send a message to the party-appointed surveyors who are said to have a say in who gets ticket. Afterall, he is hoping his daughter-in-law gets the Congress ticket to contest from the constituency instead of Hampaiah Naik, the present MLA.

Ticket aspirants for the Assembly elections have to impress not only their electors, but also their party bosses through groundwork, as political parties are picking candidates based on internal surveys.

Both the Congress and the BJP have hired private agencies to assess the ground situation. The former, in particular, is said to be conducting more than one survey. Besides, according to sources, the RSS too has sent its workers to the field.

This has spawned a flurry of activity among aspirants. Some early birds like Preetham J. Gowda, an aspiring BJP candidate from Hassan, began by supplying drinking water in areas facing acute drinking water problems ahead of anybody else. He also operated tractors to collect municipal waste from the doorstep in several localities. Another BJP aspirant, Agile Yogish, has been distributing potable water in cans at select points in the city.

Money well spent

Nirantar Ganesh, an orthopaedic surgeon, conducted health camps in Kadur constituency in Chikkamagaluru. He is among the contenders for the Congress ticket from the constituency. Narve Somashekhar, an aspirant for BJP ticket from Sakleshpur, has financed more than 40 borewells in the constituency in the past few months. He has also provided a large amount of funds to rejuvenate temples in the constituency.

At Devadurga constituency in Raichur district, Venkatesh Pujari has succeeded in impressing the JD(S) bosses. With his “social service” — generous contributions to sports events, organising mass marriages, and supplying water to villages in need — Mr. Pujari has become popular enough to take on his political mentor Shivanagowda Naik, who is expected to be fielded by the BJP.

Those who shave witched parties also face the task of winning over new bosses by offering social service. Manappa Vajjal, who won from Lingasugur in Raichur on JD(S) ticket in the last elections, is now with the BJP, upsetting many long-serving BJP leaders.

“Whenever meetings are held, the results of the surveys are the main topic of discussion. An MP wanted to contest the Assembly elections and when he put forward his claim, senior leaders showed him the results of the survey of the constituency he wanted to contest from,” said a BJP leader.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, during his tour of the State, had said that the Congress has conducted a survey and he, as head of government, too has conducted one to assess the mood.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 8:05:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/karnataka-2018/assembly-poll-ticket-aspirants-need-to-impress-party-surveyors-first/article23315757.ece

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