rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Ringside view of the battle for Bellary

Ringside view of the battle for Bellary

April 14, 2014 16:56 IST

Ringside view of the battle for Bellary

     Next

Next
Vicky Nanjappa/Rediff.com

Rediff.com’s Vicky Nanjappa tracks the election sentiment in the Bellary

Travelling on the dusty roads of Bellary is safer these days.

The ore-loaded dumpers that used to rule these roads are no more a threat.

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s intervention, mining in the area is now under check.

But as the dust settles, the lack of development in the area becomes evident.

In this backdrop, the contest between Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sriramulu and former Chief Justice N Y Hanumanthappa of the Congress is being keenly watched.

The battle for Bellary has always been an interesting one. It offers all the ingredients of an action-packed thriller.

The last few elections have seen money being thrown, SUVs being burned and helicopters flying around. This time around, the tone and tenor are mellowed.

The money flow, though, continues unabated. 

Click on NEXT to read further...




     Next

Ringside view of the battle for Bellary

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Vicky Nanjappa/Rediff.com

Sriramulu had quit the BJP three years ago and floated the BSR Congress after he was accused by the Karnataka Lokayukta of being part of the illegal mining scam.

He contested the last assembly elections from Bellary on his own and managed to win three out of the eight seats. The Congress won three while the BJP and the Janata Dal-Secular shared one seat each.

The BJP was fully aware of Sriramulu’s potential and hence took him back despite the allegations against him.

The BJP is trying to regain lost ground in Karnataka.

They realize that retaining Bellary is very important and fielding Sriramulu not only helps its fortunes in this constituency but also generates a lot of votes in the surrounding areas as well. 

Click on NEXT to read further...


Image: Sriramulu


Prev     Next

Ringside view of the battle for Bellary

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Vicky Nanjappa/Rediff.com

Here’s what is working for Sriramulu:

1. There are 4 lakh voters belonging to the Schedule Tribes and his vote share has consistently shown that 75 per cent of these voters cast their ballot in his favour.

2. He also has a considerable clout with the youth.

3. His opponent Hanumanthappa was not the first choice for the Congress. He had been seen as a liability at the age of 75 and complained that he vanished from Bellary after his defeat in the 2009 elections.

What will not work in Sriramulu’s favour:

1. Sriramulu is relying heavily on the caste and youth factor. Unlike the previous times, the great influence (read muscle power) of the Reddy brothers is not present.

2. The Congress has a greater control over the district administration of Bellary.

3. His opponent, Hanumanthappa is fighting the elections as though this was his last. He has been using the corruption tag against Sriramulu extensively.

4. Sriramulu’s exit and return to the BJP has created a doubt in the minds of the voter regarding his loyalty.

Click on NEXT to read further...


Image: Sriramulu


Prev     Next

Ringside view of the battle for Bellary

Prev     More
Prev

More
Vicky Nanjappa/Rediff.com

For the Congress, Hanumanthappa still is the best candidate available.

In 2009, the Reddy brothers had fielded their sister, J Shantha. She won by a paltry margin of 2000 votes against Hanumanthappa.

This was a defeat of sorts for the Reddy brothers, who used to openly proclaim that nobody can win against them in Bellary.

Going by this logic, Shantha should have had a victory margin of one lakh votes.

Hanumanthappa is also counting on Aam Admi Party candidate, Shivakumar Mallagi to take away some of the youth votes.

However, political analysts do not see this happening and say that it is a 60:40 battle in favour of the BJP.

Both the Congress and the BJP have pumped in all their resources to take control over Bellary. Rahul Gandhi, Rajnath Singh, B S Yeddyurappa among others were all part of the Bellary campaign. 

The people, meanwhile, come out with the same complaints -- lack of good roads and drinking water among other issues.

However, as has been the case since the last 10 years that these are just complaints and on voting day none of these matters and the people vote for the very same people they have complained about.




Prev     More