Ballari: Hectic lobbying has begun for the tickets of different political parties in Chitradurga Lok Sabha constituency, reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates.
As per the seat-sharing arrangement between the Congress party and the Janata Dal (Secular), Chitradurga was given to the Congress whose MP, B.N. Chandrappa, represents the constituency in the Lok Sabha at present. Mr Chandrappa actually hails from Chikkamagaluru district.
This time, workers of both Congress and BJP are demanding the ticket for local candidates as the district remains backward owing to the negligent attitude of elected representatives who come to the constituency from outside. Though Mr Chandrappa won Chitradurga by a margin of more than a lakh votes in 2014, the constituency has not seen any significant development so far. Moreover, Dalit leaders say that they were misguided by the Congress that Mr Chandrappa belonged to the Madiga community whereas he actually belongs to the Mashala community, which has very little numbers in the district.
Congress insiders say that owing to anti-incumbency, the number of aspirants is few in the Congress and hence, the high command may issue the ticket to Mr Chandrappa again. Besides, local leaders of the Janata Dal(S), the coalition partner of the Congress, are annoyed as they had demanded that the party leadership not to give the seat to the Congress and instead field a JD(S) candidate.
In the Bharatiya Janata Party, the number of aspirants for the party ticket is increasing. Mr B Thippeswamy, who missed the Congress ticket in the previous election, is tipped to get the BJP ticket this time. Besides, retired IAS officer M Lakshminaraya is trying hard to secure the ticket and has already met several state leaders including state BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa. The party is believed to have responded positively to his request.
Mr Lakshmina-rayan, who retired from service a few months ago, is a native of Kolar district and was always close to BJP leaders. He served as principal secretary to Mr Jagadish Shettar and additional chief secretary to Mr Yeddyurappa during their tenures as chief minister.
Besides Lakshminarayana, former MP Janardhan Swamy and Basavamurthy Madar Chennaiah, a seer of the Madiga community, are also in the race. Mr Swamy, who left his lucrative IT job in the US to seek a career in politics, represented the constituency in 2009. He was defeated in 2014.
“It should have been an easy victory for Mr Swamy. But he lost to B.N. Chandrappa of the Congress despite the Modi wave that swept the nation in 2014. Hence, it's hard for him to stake claim for the ticket this time,” said a source in the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The other BJP aspirants are former Lingasagur MLA Mr Manappa Vajjal and retired DDPI Rangappa....