304.02 kilometres apart, why battles at Chamundeshwari, Shikharipura differ
Chamundeshwari and Shikharipura are located at a distance of 304.2 kilometres. Both are high profile constituencies considering the battles here are being fought by Siddaramaiah and B S Yeddyurappa, the chief ministerial candidates of the Congress and BJP respectively.
There is a stark difference in the campaigns of Siddaramaiah who is looking to retain power and B S Yeddyurappa who is waiting to seize it. While Siddaramaiah is being made to sweat it out at Chamundeshwari, for Yeddyurappa it appears to be a walk over at Shikharipura.
Siddaramaiah is up against the formidable G T Deve Gowda of the JD(S) who is a friend turned foe. The Congress which is hoping to win the election on the Siddaramaiah factor did sense trouble in the CM's bastion following which it decided to hand him another ticket from Badami.
Siddaramaiah's troubles do not just begin and end with G T Deve Gowda. His former friends, V Srinivas Prasad and H Vishwanath are also campaigning against him making the fight even tougher. While Prasad has joined the BJP, Vishwanath is now with the JD(S). In all previous poll, these leaders stood together and were able to ensure that Siddaramaiah conquered Chamundeshwari 5 out of the 7 times that he contested.
BSY has it easy:
Yeddyurappa, on the other hand, has an easy outing at Shikharipur. In 2013 when he had formed the KJP he had several foes, but he managed to win the polls. For instance, Mahalingappa who had beaten Yeddyurappa in 1999 is now his poll manager. Further, K Shekarappa who has challenged Yeddyurappa in three elections is now campaigning for him.
Looking at the Congress candidate from Shikharipura, it is clear that Yeddyurappa will have a cake walk from this constituency. A confident Yeddyurappa had even said that he will win by a good 30,000 votes even if he does not campaign.
The selection of the Congress candidate had taken a lot within the party by surprise. The Congress picked G B Malatesh, a block Congress president and municipality member.
While this has made the battle easier for Yeddyurappa, analysts say that this is not the only factor that would ensure a win for the BJP leader. Yeddyurappa has over the years nurtured the constituency.
The roads in the constituency are an example of this. Back in 2008 during a campaign trail, we were welcomed to one lane road. No two vehicles could pass by each other unless one went off the road.
During our next visit to the constituency in 2009, the entire scenario had changed. It was the 2009 Lok Sabha election campaign and by then Yeddyurappa had become Chief Minister of Karnataka. The roads were wide and the constituency had a brand new feel to it.
|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|