Vokkaligas do not vote on caste lines: Congress leaders

Congress leaders from the Vokkaliga community at a press conference in Mysuru on Tuesday.  

Senior Congress leaders from Chamundeshwari constituency in Mysuru have refuted rumours that the Vokkaliga community had ‘deserted’ the Congress and would vote along caste lines.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, party leaders of the Vokkaliga community said that it was preposterous to suggest that people would exercise their franchise on caste considerations exclusive to anything else.

The former MLA Satyanarayana, Mavinahalli Siddegowda, Krishna Madegowda, and others, said the five-year track record of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is contesting from Chamundeshwari, was sufficient to ensure a victory.

They said if voting were to take place along caste lines, then all MLAs from the constituency should have been from the Vokkaliga community as they are a majority. “However, only three MLAs so far were from the Vokkaliga community ever since elections were held here. People vote on the basis of development and not caste alone, and every section of society has benefited from various welfare measures initiated by Mr. Siddaramaiah,” Mr. Siddegowda said.

The Congress leaders also took exception to the rumour as it suggested that the community members were ‘casteists,’ disputing this by saying that they had voted cutting across such affiliations.

In response to a question, the leaders denied that the community was estranged from the Congress as it did nothing for their welfare and pointed out that Mr. Siddaramaiah had groomed several Vokkaliga leaders. “Janata Dal (Secular) candidate G.T. Deve Gowda (who will contest against Mr. Siddaramaiah in the constituency) was also groomed by Mr. Siddaramaiah,” they said. Besides, the naming of Bengaluru International Airport after Kempegowda, and celebrating his jayanti were some of the CM’s initiatives, apart from a slew of development works undertaken for the constituency, according to Mr. Satyanarayana. He said this included UGD, drinking water facilities, road connectivity, and more.

The leaders also took exception to the use of social media networks to fan rumours about Mr. Siddaramaiah being likely to scout for a safe seat elsewhere in the State.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 6:33:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/vokkaligas-do-not-vote-on-caste-lines-congress-leaders/article23428692.ece

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