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Triangular contest likely in four Assembly seats

By Our Staff Correspondent

MYSORE, MARCH 3. A triangular contest is on the anvil between the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Janata Dal (Secular) in the four Assembly constituencies in Mysore in the coming elections.

The Chamaraja, Krishnaraja, Narasimharaja, and Chamundeshwari Assembly constituencies are in the Mysore City Corporation limits while the Chamundeshwari segment covers the taluk.

In the previous elections, the Congress won the Narasimharaja and Chamundeshwari constituencies while the BJP retained the Krishnaraja and Chamaraja constituencies.

However, the Janata Dal (S) has emerged as a powerful force in the Mysore region and the balance of power is equally poised this time.

However, sources in the BJP said the party was confident of retaining the Krishnaraja and Chamaraja constituencies. The BJP is expected to field A. Ramdas and H.S. Shankarlinge Gowda from the Krishnaraja and Chamaraja constituencies. They have been elected twice from these constituencies to the Assembly.

The caste factor plays a major role in the strategy of political parties and it is not going to be different in Mysore. Though Vokkaligas dominate the Chamaraja constituency, the maximum number of educated people is found here.

Hence, the political parties cannot bank on the caste factor alone to help them win the election.

Similarly, Brahmins and Lingayats dominate the Krishnaraja constituency and the BJP is banking on this segment. But the party has expressed confidence that development works undertaken in the constituency will help it win more votes from the Kuruba community and other backward castes. This, the BJP attributed to the successful implementation of the Ashraya housing scheme, Swastha Mela for the poor, and sanitation programmes. The party is also banking on the "feel good factor'' and the welfare programmes undertaken by the NDA Government.

The concentration of Muslims in the Narasimharaja constituency is a factor that comes in the electoral calculations of political parties.

The Congress fielded Tanvir Sait, who defeated Marutirao Pawar of the Janata Dal (S), in the last byelection.

But sources in the BJP said Muslim votes would influence the final outcome if there was a close contest. Vokkaligas, Kurubas, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes were equally predominant and Muslims constituted the single largest minority group. Hence, the BJP would not rule out its chances against the Congress, which had to fight the anti-incumbency factor. The BJP and the Janata Dal (S) argued that the Congress was uncomfortably placed because of the "public anathema" towards it.

"The Congress was at the helm of affairs in the State and the people of the region are cut up with its handling of the Cauvery crisis, the Nagappa abduction episode and other issues. The Congress also controls the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) and the performance is nothing to boast of,'' according to the BJP and Janata Dal (S) leaders.

The Congress is expected to have a tough time in the Chamundeshwari constituency where a majority of voters, who have been affected by the Cauvery crisis, are in rural areas.

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