Sunday, Nov 30, 2003
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By Our Staff Correspondent
On the other hand, the election is a "do-or-die" battle for Mr. Machaiah, who has been expelled from the Congress for six years. He is leaving no stone unturned to win the elections. Mr. Machaiah is expected to garner a substantial number of votes, particularly in Virajpet taluk.
During the last Legislative Council elections, he had withdrawn his nomination papers to pave the way for Mr. John's victory in the election. Mr. John had then scored a major victory by securing the party's nod to contest the election amidst some tough fighting from the General Secretary of the KPCC, Mittu Chengappa. Mr. Machaiah, an exponent of Karate, who led the Indian Shito-Ryu Karate team to Moscow recently, is banking on his support base in Virajpet taluk. Some of his supporters who have stood by him also face uncertainty in the party. Mr. Machaiah is also confident of getting enough votes from Somwarpet and Madikeri taluks. The fact that the rebel Congress candidates, V.A. Venkatesh and Padmanabha, were elected President and Vice-President of the Virajpet Taluk Panchayat recently, has come as a shot in the arm for Mr. Machaiah.
This apart, the district units of the Janata Dal (Secular) and the All India Progressive Janata Dal (AIPJD) and the Nagarika Samiti of Bhagamandala have also supported his candidature.
But the presence of the BJP candidate, S.G. Medappa, in the fray can affect his electoral fortunes, according to some observers.
According to a reliable source, the BJP, the AIPJD, and the JD(S) had agreed to support Mr. Machaiah but the BJP changed its stand and decided to field Mr. Medappa in the last minute. The election campaign has reached a feverish pitch with the contenders making last-minute efforts to win over the voters.
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