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Nobody can challenge H D Kumaraswamy here!

Last updated on: April 24, 2013 13:54 IST

Nobody can challenge H D Kumaraswamy here!

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Vicky Nanjappa in Ramnagar

Vicky Nanjappa travels to Janata Dal-Secular leader H D Kumaraswamy's constituency, Ramnagar to assess the mood of the voters there


Ramnagar, 50 kilometres from Bengaluru, is considered to be a model constituency for many in Karnataka.

Janata Dal-Secular leader and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy is seeking a re-election for the third time from this constituency and looking at the way things are going, it looks pretty clear that he will emerge victorious.

Coverage: Battleground Karnataka

Interestingly, there were reports that he may not contest at all from his pet constituency as he believed that an anti-incumbency factor could dent his chances.

After much deliberation and discussion with his party workers, Kumaraswamy decided that he would contest from Ramnagar itself.

Kumaraswamy is no doubt a crowd puller.

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People in his constituency say that they see hope in him and Ramnagar has developed a great deal under him.

However, there are many who also point out that he spends very less time in his constituency, but the JD-S reasons that he needs to focus on every constituency.

Kumaraswamy is a busy man. He starts his campaigns very early in the day.

Besides Ramangar, he tours the entire state as he is the only star campaigner other than his father, H D Deve Gowda for the JD-S.

When compared to the 2008 elections, this time there is a considerable change in the manner in which Kumaraswamy and the JD-S have approached the elections.

They are clearly more tech savvy in their approach and have acknowledged the fact that technology is very necessary to connect with the urban voters.

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However, in Ramnagar, the biggest attraction is Kumaraswamy himself. People listen with a lot of patience to what he is saying.

What has the crowds even more interested is the hi-tech vehicle that Kumaraswamy uses for his campaign.

The specially-designed Toyota Commuter has a hydraulic lift that lifts him when he has to address the people.

It has a state-of-the-art sound system, recliners and a sofa.

Kumaraswamy sounds very optimistic about the results of the forthcoming elections.

The people will choose us this time, he says while echoing his father Deve Gowda's sentiment that the party shall not be kingmaker but the king.

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Kumaraswamy says that the recent urban local body polls were a good sign for the JD-S and they were confident of doing well across the state.

HDK or Kumaranna, as he fondly called, says that it is a misconception that his party is restricted to only one part of Karnataka. This is something that the Congress has been spreading, he said.

I know we have a trend in our favour in Northern Karnataka as well and we will do well. The people will give us the mandate to form the government this time, he says.

Kumaraswamy is very clear when he speaks about an alliance in case of a hung assembly.

"We will sit in the opposition," he says, adding, "However, I am thinking that there would not be such as scenario as I am confident we will get a majority."

The people of Ramnagar appear to be backing him.

The one main factor that would go in favour of Kumaraswamy is that he is a chief ministerial candidate and the people of the constituency would love to have their candidate taking the top spot.

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Unlike last time when he was up against Ramakrishna Hegde's daughter Mamatha Nichani, the competition is not stiff for Kumaraswamy in Ramnagar this time around.
 
It is a different story that in 2008, the poll result asserted how no one could compete against him.

He polled around 71,000 votes while Mamatha managed a paltry 23,000.

In the process, he also broke a major superstition in the Gowda family.

It was said that the Gowda family always lost to a woman candidate and hence the Congress had fielded a lady against him. He proved that wrong.

On the face of it people do not have complaints per se against Kumaraswamy. They consider him to be their undisputed leader. However, they are most emotive about the Cauvery waters issue.

Kumaraswamy says that they will fight the Cauvery battle in court and ensure that Karnataka gets a fair deal.

Besides this, during his campaign trail he has been raising the issue of the failure of the BJP government in the state.

Overall Ramangar will see a one-sided battle and it would be victory for Kumaraswamy.




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