KARNATAKA

It is a straight fight between Congress and JD(S)

Staff Correspondent



Hassan segment has been a JD(S) bastion

Vokkaligas are the dominant community here



HASSAN: In Hassan Assembly conthe fight is between the Congress and the Janata Dal (S). The latter is fielding H.S. Prakash for the fourth time while the Congress has fielded the former Minister and four-time MLA B. Shivaram, who represented Gandsi before the delimitation.

The BJP has fielded Hullalli Suresh, who joined the BJP from the JD(S) two months ago. Protesting his choice, BJP workers locked up the party office.

The BSP has given the ticket to K.H. Hanume Gowda who was earlier in the Congress and also the BJP. He joined the BSP after the BJP denied him the ticket.

The BJP is weak in Hassan taluk, as its strongholds — Shantigrama and Dudda — have been merged with Holenarsipura Assembly constituency. Hence, the fight will be between the JD(S) and Congress.

Hassan has been a JD(S) bastion, and it was only 1978 and 1989 that the Congress has emerged victorious from here.

In Hassan, the Vokkaliga community is dominant. Its total votes come to 74,000. There are 20,000 Muslim, 28,000 Veerashaiva and 10,000 Christian voters.

More than Rs. 2,000 crore was released for development of Hassan when H.D. Kumaraswamy was Chief Minister.

An international airport is coming up here. Medical, agriculture, veterinary, engineering and law colleges are here.

Every hobli has a government PU/degree college. One thousand acres of land has been acquired for the proposed IIT and another 1,000 acres for other colleges.

But the forceful land acquisition has come in the way of a JD(S) victory. There is also an allegation against Mr. Prakash, who was an MLA then, that he had not come in support of the farmers when they agitated against the land acquisition.

When century-old trees were removed at Gandhada Koti for the medical college building, people agitated it. Even at time Mr. Prakash is alleged to have not offered his support.

On the other hand, Mr. Shivaram gave support to the agitations.

The impact of the agitation could be seen in CMC election results. There was a fractured verdict with JD (S) winning 16 seats, Congress 11, BJP 3 and independents five. The JD(S) came to power with the help of independents.

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