Karnataka: Dalit-Lingayat-Brahmin combine to back Srinivas Prasad?

Nanjangud is considered the abode of Lord Srikanteshwara and is popularly called 'Dakshin Kashi.'

Bengaluru: With victory becoming imperative to salvage his pride after being unceremoniously dumped by the Congress from the state cabinet, former revenue minister and BJP candidate for the Nanjangud by-poll, Mr V Srinivasprasad is likely to play the 'Dalit-Lingayat-Brahmin' card as these communities comprise the majority of voters in the constituency.

Nanjangud is considered the abode of Lord Srikanteshwara and is popularly called 'Dakshin Kashi.' Lakhs of tourists flock to this temple town to have darshan of the presiding deity.

The constituency is now preparing to witness a close fight between Congress and BJP candidates. Historically, it has been a fortress of the Congress but was later conquered by the Janata Pariwar. After Nanjangud became a reserved constituency, Mr Prasad won on a Congress ticket by a narrow margin last time.

He now wants to take revenge on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Public Works Department Minister Dr H.C. Mahadevappa blaming them for his exit from the ministry. His induction has come as a blessing for the BJP which wants the lotus to bloom in the temple town.

State BJP President and Shivamogga Lok Sabha member, Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa has reportedly agreed to put in the maximum effort to woo Lingayat voters as they are on par with Dalit voters in the constituency. For Mr Prasad, it won’t be difficult getting the Dalit votes by projecting his humiliation at the hands of the Congress during the campaign.

With Mr Prasad on their side, the BJP also wants to utilise his services in Dalit-dominated constituencies across the state in the 2018 Assembly polls. The only challenge for Mr Yeddyurappa is pacifying the followers of former minister, Benki Mahadev who feel unhappy over the manner in which their late leader was treated by saffron party leaders. The bitter experience had forced Mahadev to join JD(S) at the fag end of his career.

Nanjangud shares boundaries with Varuna constituency represented by Siddaramaiah and T Narasipur represented by Dr Mahadevappa. The Congress is luring Kalale Keshvamurthy, a JD(S) leader who lost the 2013 Assembly polls by less than 1,000 votes to Prasad. This means, Sunil Bose, son of Dr Mahadevappa, is unlikely to be fielded against Mr Prasad, a prominent Dalit leader.

The former revenue minister enjoys support of all the communities and has 40 years of political experience. Already, a couple of Lingayat leaders of both Mysuru and Chamarajanagar have started to garner support for Mr Prasad.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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