Karnataka 2018

Karnataka elections 2018: When Indira Gandhi won in Chikkamagaluru in 1978

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi snapped at a meeting of Subjects Committee of the Congress in Jaipur on February 11, 1966.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

Chikkamagaluru caught the nation’s attention when former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi won the Lok Sabha seat in 1978. Her victory in the byelection gave the Congress the much-needed boost post-Emergency. For decades, the district had been a strong bastion of the party.

However, the scene changed after 2000, when the BJP started a campaign for declaring Bababudangiri, a shrine atop a hillock near Chikkamagaluru town, a Hindu place of worship. Raising communal issues around the shrine, known for its syncretic traditions, gave a fillip to the BJP here. Party leaders C.T. Ravi and Jeevaraj, who actively participated in protests demanding the appointment of a Hindu priest at the shrine, got elected to the Assembly three times consecutively.

Shrine issue

Mr. Ravi, who was the Higher Education Minister during BJP rule, is contesting again. Besides infrastructure development, he is raising the Bababudangiri issue. Criticising the State government’s recent submission before the Supreme Court that the place could not be declared a Hindu place of worship, he says the Congress is trying to consolidate Muslim votes. He says he wants to consolidate non-Muslim votes.

The Congress has fielded B.L. Shankar, a senior politician, who had served as a Lok Sabha member and Chairman of the Legislative Council earlier. The coffee planter is a scholar of Indian politics and has co-authored a book. He said he would talk only about development issues.

The Janata Dal(S) has fielded B.H. Harish.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2021 11:19:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/karnataka-2018/karnataka-elections-2018-when-indira-gandhi-won-in-chikkamagaluru-in-1978/article23806509.ece

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