HASSAN: Bharatiya Janata Party’s state unit president B.S. Yeddyurappa may have suffered a setback after his son B.Y. Vijayendra was denied the Varuna assembly seat at the last minute, but his relative, Mariswamy has entered the poll fray from Arasikere constituency in Hassan district on BJP ticket. Mariswamy is a Zilla Panchayat member from Bengaluru Urban and migrated to Arasikere to contest the forthcoming poll.
He is contesting the assembly poll for the second time after losing in the Dasarahalli assembly seat in 2013 as a Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) nominee.
Embarking on his poll campaign, Mariswamy says though he is an outsider to the seat, he is no stranger.
“I get recognised as a relative of Mr Yeddyurappa which helps me establish my identity in the constituency and as a result, voters are getting closer to me,” he adds.
The Bharatiya Janata Party earlier announced the Arasikere ticket for Arun Somanna, son of former minister V Somanna but Arun Somanna pulled out of the contest and the party decided to field Mariswamy.
The calculation is that Mr Mariswamy, a Banajiga Lingayat, can swing the votes of the Lingayat community by relying on the image of Mr Yeddyurappa.
Mariswamy claims that he has garnered much support from the leaders and youth in the constituency.
However, sources say that even the Congress party has fielded Shashidhar, a Lingayat to cash in on the community votes. Shashidhar belongs to the Sadar Lingayat community who form a majority among the Lingayats and Lingayat votes might get split helping the Janata Dal Secular (JD-S) nominee and sitting MLA Shivalinge Gowda, a Vokkaliga who has represented the seat twice in 2008 and 2013.
But, Mariswamy says, there is anti-incumbency against Mr Shivalinge Gowda which would help him win the seat. Sources add that Shivalinge Gowda is a tough candidate to beat since he enjoys considerable clout among all sections of society with the supply of water to Arasikere town his major contribution as an MLA.