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Right caste mix key to victory in Sira bypolls

Express News Service

TUMAKURU: With the Sira bypolls just a week away, the three major political parties are looking at the right caste combination to fetch votes. This is because the combination of other communities is crucial for victory as the candidates of Big 3 — Congress’s T B Jayachandra, JDS’ Ammajamma B Satyanarayana and BJP’s Dr C M Rajesh Gowda — are Kunchatiga Vokkaligas.

A fire of Dr Rajesh Gowda, the BJP candidate
from Sira constituency, greeting
supporters while campaigning

The grand old party has State party chief D K Shivakumar, a Vokkaliga, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, who claims to be the leader of AHINDA (Kannada acronym for minorities, Backward Classes and dalits), former Deputy CM Dr G Parameshwara and former minister H Anjaneya, both dalits, hitting the campaign trail. ST Nayaka leader and former MLA K N Rajanna not turning a rebel is an added advantage for the party.

Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan and KPCC working president Saleem Ahmed had also campaigned for a couple of days to woo the Muslim population, especially in Sira town. The BJP too with state vice president B Y Vijayendra, a Lingayat, K S Eshwarappa, a Kuruba, Hiriyuru MLA Poornima, a Golla leader, Deputy CM Dr Ashwathnarayana, a Vokkaliga, is campaigning vigorously. But more importantly, it has been making the best use of Deputy CM Govinda Karjol, representing SC left community which has sizeable votes in Sira.

Karjol has been campaigning aggressively targeting the Congress. Meanwhile, Raghu Kautilya, a backward classes leader, has been trying to rope in smaller communities such as Madiwalas, Upparas, Edigas, Balajigas among others. Struggling with caste equation seems to be the JDS as a Kuruba and a Golla ZP member joined hands with Congress and BJP recently.

Former Chikkanayakanahalli MLA C B Suresh Babu, a Kuruba leader, started the campaign rather late. The JD(S) has no star campaigners from different communities except former Pavagada MLA K M Thimmarayappa (SC left). JDS state president H K Kumaraswamy (SC right) has no traction. Former PM H D Deve Gowda, his sons H D Kumaraswamy, H D Revanna, grandsons Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna were on the campaign trail.

Tumakuru Rural MLA D C Gowrishankar, also a Vokkaliga, shouldering the responsibility of Kallambella Hobli and promising a good lead for the party, has brought in some cheer. The JDS has got the unconditional support of the Karnataka unit of the Samajwadi Party in both RR Nagar and Sira.

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