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The Shivajinagar face-off: It is Katta Naidu vs Roshan Baig

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    Shivajinagar is in the heart of Bengaluru city and the contest this time got interesting with the BJP deciding to field Katta Subramanya Naidu against Roshan Baig of the Congress.

    Katta Subramanya Naidu and Roshan Baig

    In the recent elections, Baig has had it relatively easy in this constituency. However, with Katta returning, the fight has become an interesting one. This constituency is no stranger to Naidu. He made his political debut from this constituency. He has also won this constituency twice in the past.

    He vacated Shivajinagar post the delimitation exercise. He won the 2008 elections from Hebbal and was a minister in the Yeddyurappa government.

    Naidu says that he loves this constituency and is happy to make a comeback. The people of this constituency although dominated by Muslims love the BJP and this will take him home, he also says. Katta has already hit the campaign trail. He says that he is a relieved man today after being cleared and attributes the past to bad times.

    Baig on the other hand who used to contest from the Jayamahal constituency shifted to Shivajinagar post-delimitation. After delimitation, portions of Jayamahal were added to Shivajinagar and Hebbal.

    Baig holds sway over the large Muslim voter while Katta has the support of the Tamil speaking population of the area who are also in large numbers. The two leaders are in a face-off after almost two decades. The last time they battled each other was in 1994. The battle was then won by Baig who was with the JD(S).

    The battle is being termed as the mother of all battles. It is, in fact, one of the toughest battles in Karnataka as both leaders are strong in their own right. An interesting fact is that Katta and Baig are good friends off the battlefield. However, that is likely to alter the relation as the battle hots up for Shivajinagar. Don't take your eyes off this constituency.

    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

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