DAVANGERE: They are loaded with cash, but which one of the three candidates—Raghu Achar of Congress, K S Naveen of BJP and Somanna of JD(S)—will defeat the other two is the query asked often in the run-up to polls to the Legislative Council scheduled to be held on December 27.
Though it would be a straight contest between Mr Achar, who won as an independent in the previous elections, and Mr Naveen, who lost by a narrow margin last time, the entry of a rank outsider and JD (S) candidate, Mr Somanna, an industrialist from Mysuru, could make it a tough contest. Besides, three independents too have entered the fray. Both Mr Achar and Mr Naveen are from Chitradurga.
While there was no confusion in BJP about selection of the candidate, there were many ticket aspirants in Congress. A group of district Congress leaders openly opposed Mr. Raghu Achar’s candidature as he was outsider. Mr Hanumali Shanmukhappa, Mr Mehaboob Pasha, Mr M.A. Sethuram and former MLA A.V. Umapathi were the other ticket aspirants of the ruling party. As soon as Congress leaders denied a ticket to Mr Hanumali Shanmukhappa, those of JD(S) reportedly tried to woo him but he turned down their invitation to join the party. Hence, JD(S) leaders fielded Mr. Somanna who contested unsuccessfully as BSR Congress candidate from HD Kote in the Assembly polls in 2013. Meanwhile, Mr. Achar and Mr. Naveen have launched a vigorous campaign. JD(S) candidate Somanna is also trying hard to win the hearts of the voters. This segment consists of Davangere, Harihar, Jagalur, Chitradurga, Hosadurga, Holalkere, Hiriyur, Molkalmur and Challakere taluks. A total of 5412 voters would cast their votes. There are eight Congress MLAs, two from BJP and one from JD (S) in this constituency.
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