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Top contests of 2014: Yeddyurappa vs the rest in Shimoga


Bangalore, March 21: Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa will take on Congress's Manjunath Bhandari, JD(S)'s Geetha Shivarajkumar and Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Sreedhar Kallahalla Gangadhar from Shimoga constituency.

[Read: Top contests of 2014]

2009 result: BJP's BY Raghavendra, son of Yeddyurappa, defeated late chief minister S Bangarappa by 52,893 votes.

Shimoga, along with the other 27 seats of Karnataka, will go to the polls on April 17.

About BS Yeddyurappa (BJP)

Yeddyurappa, the first BJP chief minister of southern India, gad quit the party in late 2012 after having serious differences with the top brass but returned to the BJP's fold in January this year. Party insiders felt that the BJP could suffer if Raghavendra is fielded again and it could be a heavy loss, particularly after the drubbing in last year's assembly election. Yeddyurappa, 71, a Lingayat strongman with a strong base in Shimoga, was a stronger option for the party. He is contesting the Lok Sabha election for the first time.

About Manjunath Bhandari (Congress)

The Congress fielded Manjunath Bhandari after senior leaders like Kagodu Thimmappa and state minister Kimmane Ratnakar refused to contest from Shimoga. Bhandari, a businessman and member of the AICC, is a fresher in electoral politics and is known to be close to Union minister Oscar Fernandes.

About Geetha Shivarajkumar (JDS)

Geetha Shivakumar is the daughter of late chief minister Bangarappa and wife of leading Kannada filmstar Shivarajkmar, son of late Kannada matinee idol Dr Rajkumar. A fresher in politics, she took the primary membership of the JD(S) recently and said she wants to serve the people, just as her father had done.

About Sreedhar Kallahalla Gangadhar (AAP)

SK Gangadhar is a noted architect and social and environmental reformer in the Malnad region of the Western Ghats. He is contesting election for the first time.

Analysis: Yeddyurappa is most likely to be final deciding factor in this constituency. In the 2013 assembly election when Yeddyurappa contested as a Karnataka Janatha Paksh candidate, the BJP failed to win a single seat from Shimoga, despite it being a strong base of the RSS and BJP. Now, with Yeddyurappa back in the fold, the BJP looks a more organised force in this part.

Yeddyurappa's cause will also be benefitted by the deep family feud in the Bangarappa family which may adversely affect the chances of the JDS's Geetha Shivarajkumar. Her estranged brother Kumar Bangarappa has already predicted her defeat in the upcoming polls. However, campaigning by Geetha's husband and brother-in-law, namely, Shivarajkumar and Puneet Rajkumar, who are popular faces from the glamour world, could bring in an interesting angle into the fight.

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