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It's a lesson Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna is not going to forget in a hurry.

His defeat in Maddur in southern Karnataka in the 1994 assembly election hurt so much more because he was the deputy chief minister then and was being projected to be the next chief minister.

That the defeat was inflicted by a first-time contestant, and that it was Krishna's second defeat in this constituency, didn't help either.

Krishna was drubbed in 1967 in Maddur by Manche Gowda. In 1994, it was Gowda's son, Dr Mahesh Chandra contesting on a Janata Dal ticket, who defeated Krishna.

Maddur being a predominantly Vokkaliga constituency, one would have thought Krishna, a Vokkaliga himself, was comfortably entrenched here. Krishna certainly believed so. For, after winning the 1989 election and becoming deputy chief minister, he spent very little time in Maddur.

The Janata Dal took advantage of this and made Krishna's absenteeism its main poll plank.

The voters clearly favoured a candidate who would spend more time with them over someone who would be the chief minister and spend most of his time in Bangalore. Krishna was defeated soundly and squarely.

Though Krishna wrested the seat back in 1999, this time over he is contesting from the Bangalore urban assembly constituency of Chamrajpet.

Smart thinking that. If he wins, spending time in the constituency would not be a problem.

Reportage: M D Riti | Image: Rahil Shaikh

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