Karnataka: Tough fight for Congress in Chamarajanagar
Mysuru, Apr 14: The stage is set for a straight contest between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Chamarajnagar (Reserved) Lok Sabha constituency. The two-time Congress MP R Dhruvanarayan will take on five-time MP and BJP candidate V Srinivas Prasad.
In a sense, it's a prestige battle for the Congress as seven out of the eight Assembly constituencies coming under the Chamarajanagar constituency are held by the party.
Prasad has contested the Lok Sabha elections from Chamarajanagar seven times since 1980 and won the seat four times for the Congress and once as the Janata Dal(United) candidate. He fought the Lok Sabha polls for the last time in 1999 from this seat.
For the BJP, Prasad's secular credentials and experience will be a plus for the BJP in the seat. The BJP is also banking on the Lingayats and the popularity of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa among them.
The Chamarajanagar constituency is comprised of Dalit voters on a large scale, and a section of dalits consider BJP to be an anti-dalit party. However, there are also allegations that Srinivasa Prasad is being used by the BJP to fetch the dalit votes for the party candidates within the state, especially in the Old Mysore region.
Dhruvanarayana is banking on development agenda, social justice card, besides the works done by him as an MP and the 'pro-people' programmes of the government. The 57-year-old Congress candidate is also expected to benefit from the support provided by the party's alliance partner, the Janata Dal (Secular).
With Shivakumar's entry, the BSP factor is likley to play a major role in the clash between the Congress and the BJP in the constituency.