Krishnappa of JD(S) in a triangular contest

BATTLE-READY: M.T. Krishnappa distributing pamphlets at Jade Mayasandra in Turuvekere.

BATTLE-READY: M.T. Krishnappa distributing pamphlets at Jade Mayasandra in Turuvekere.  

Shivaraja K.N.

He is in touch with people since July 10 after Jaggesh quit

TUMKUR: Turuvekere and Tiptur are twin-towns known for a special variety of copra. However, it takes a full two hours of driving to cover the 27 km from Tiptur to Turuvekere, as the road is not even metalled, leave alone asphalted.

Roads to Turuvekere from Channarayapatna and Kunigal are also no better. Turuvekere can be described as a big village. Sixty years after Independence, the taluk headquarters has neither a super market for groceries nor a textiles outlet that markets ready-made garments.

M.T. Krishnappa, Janata Dal (Secular) candidate for the Turuvekere Assembly by-election, has no qualms about any of these things. A former president of Karnataka State Government Employees Association, he plunged into politics and was elected from Turuvekere in the April 2004 Assembly elections. He could not retain the seat in the May 2008 Assembly elections, and he has been covering the length and the breadth of the constituency since July 10, when Jaggesh, Congress MLA, quit.

Mr. Krishnappa is, however, facing a stiff fight from BJP candidate M.D. Lakshminarayana and Congress candidate H.B. Nanje Gowda.

Even his rivals agree that Mr. Krishnappa had performed well and development work worth Rs. 334 crore were implemented between 2004 and 2008. His defeat is attributed to his style of functioning — aggressive and un-affable.

Surrounded by his supporters, Mr. Krishnappa was waiting at a small village, Jade Mayasandra, 17 km from Turuvekere, in the early hours on Tuesday to receive H.D. Revanna, former Minister. Mr. Revanna and Mr. Krishnappa campaigned in 14 villages in the surroundings of Mayasandra by noon.

It was Mr. Krishnappa’s eighth round of campaign in the village since July. He has covered that many times the villages of Dandinashivara, Kasaba and Chandrashekarapura hoblis also.

Talking to The Hindu, he said: “Jaggesh was MLA from May 25 to July 10. I have been doing the job (of an MLA) by taking up the issues of fertilizers and seeds and also the civic problems of the people since then. I am confident of winning the by-elections.”

His campaign, according to him, is to sell former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda’s dream that “every farmer should become self-reliant and dignified”, and that of former Chief Minister, H.D. Kumaraswamy’s that “Karnataka should be developed into a model State.”

Mr. Krishnappa too has a dream of his own. He wants to provide irrigation facility to all villages in Turuvekere taluk from the Hemavathy Canal. “I risked even my life and took out a padayatra to Bangalore from Turuvekere and got more funds for the implementation of the second phase of the Hemavathy Canal work. My life mission is to give water to every farmer in the taluk,” he said.

His background as a government employee helps him in persuading officials to deliver the goods. It is, hence, he says: “Only Krishnappa (referring to himself) can get things moving in the Government,” in a way admitting that he is aggressive.

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