Combined opposition takes on ruling Congress in Mysore

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Sreekantswamy B,

 MallikarjunappaMysore, Aug 18, 2013: When the State went for the Assembly elections in May, chief minister-aspirant Siddaramaiah was on the razor’s edge.

Three months later, as chief minister, he is again facing a test of his might in his backyard with the byelection to the Legislative Council from Mysore-Chamarajanagar local bodies constituency scheduled for August 22.

The election has been necessitated as K R Mallikarjunappa of the BJP quit the seat to contest the Assembly polls from Charamarajanagar as the KJP candidate.

What has turned the contest into a seat-edged thriller this time is the coming together of the JD(S), BJP and the KJP to take on the Congress in Siddaramaiah’s stronghold.

While several names did the rounds for the Congress ticket for the bypoll, it was Mysore District (Rural) Congress Committee president R Dharmasena, who succeeded in getting the nomination.

The KJP president B S Yeddyurappa was closeted with his supporters for a day in the city, before announcing the name of its city unit president U S Shekar as the party candidate The JD(S) has remained out of the fray.

Though general secretary of the BJP city unit Yashaswi Somashekar had filed his papers, he had to eventually backout following the high drama that unfolded on the last day of withdrawal of nominations.

The BJP, putting behind the biterness, joined hands with the KJP. While the BJP is backing the KJP in Mysore, it will be vice-versa in Dharwad and Chitradurga constituencies. Ayub Khan is the lone independent in the fray from Mysore.

GP members crucial

Due to various factors, the ruling Congress seems to be placed comfortably.

Elected representatives of all the local bodies from the Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts, gram panchayat (GP), taluk panchayat, zilla panchayat, city municipal council, town panchayat and Mysore City Corporation and, MLAs, MLCs and MPs are the voters.

The total electorate is 7,010, with GP members forming the major chunk of voters.
In Chamarajangar district, around 80 per cent of the GP members are said be supporters of the Congress, while in Mysore it is said to be 50 per cent.

Of the 15 Assembly constituencies in the two districts, 12 are represented by the Congress and the remaining three by the JD(S).

The BJP, though it drew a blank in the Assembly polls in Mysore and Chamarajanagar districts, still remains a force to reckon with. Barring a few constituencies, especially in Chamarajanagar district, the KJP couldn’t make much inroads in other areas.

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