The Congress kept up its promise of not fielding a candidate from Melukote in Mandya. This has made it easier for the Swaraj India candidate, Darshan Puttanaiah who was in the news for giving up his software firm to contest the Karnataka assembly elections.
The son of farmer leader K S Puttanaiah whose Karnataka Sarvodaya Party merged with Swaraj India, this entire process is new to him. There is a JD(S) wave in this constituency, but Darshan could well be helped from the fact that the Congress as promised did not field a candidate. Siddaramaiah was close friend of Puttanaiah and had even attended his funeral.
Darshan's father was an MLA from the Melukote constituency in Mandya. He was representing the Karnataka Sarvodaya Party which had originated from the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha. Darshan says that he had no interest in joining politics. He was away from the state for 15 years.
However it was the death of his father and the pressure from his followers which prompted him to change his decision. He says that his father never forced him to join politics and always told him to take an independent decision. Darshan also adds that he was attracted to the cause of the Raitha Sangha which played an active part for the welfare of the farmers.
Darshan has had a small stint with politics in the past. In the late 1990s he campaigned for his father. However in 2002, he left for the US.
Darshan who will contest from Melukote is in with a good chance. The voters of the constituency looked up to his father who passed away in February. Moreover with the Congress not fielding any candidate as yet from this constituency, it appears to be easy pickings for Darshan.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|