Gundlupet bypoll: With sympathy, can Geetha Mahadevprasad weather BJP storm?

The CM too had played the sympathy card to woo voters in Gundlupet.

Gundlupet: The very mention of her husband brings tears to her eyes. But she wipes them off and adjusts her voice before addressing villagers seeking their support.

Ms Geeta Mahadevprasad, wife of former minister late H.S. Mahadevprasad, is contesting as the Congress candidate from Gundlupet constituency which is witnessing a bypoll due to the sudden demise of her husband. She does not know the nuances of politics as she had stayed away from it all these years. She decided to contest only after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and others forced her to step into her husband's shoes.

When this correspondent accompanied her on the campaign trail, she was simple to the core showing no signs of belonging to the family of a reputed politician. The ministers who were campaigning for her in the constituency, recalled the simplicity of Mahadevprasad who was elected for five consecutive terms. Now she wants to continue the legacy of her husband by completing development works.

Travelling in an Innova, Ms Geeta is accompanied by her close relatives. Her son moves in another car to make arrangements. Her car driver automatically stops when he sees a group of people. "Avva, we have seen your husband's style of working. You don't have to come to our houses..we will vote for you".

With the heat severe, the villagers offered butter milk to Ms Geeta which she accepts. Elderly women console her as she lost her husband just three months ago. She broke down several times while speaking at road shows remembering her husband.

The CM too had played the sympathy card to woo voters in Gundlupet. Ever since she kicked off the poll campaign, Geetha has been on the road from 7 am till 9 pm. The car is a make-shift home carrying water, dry fruits and other eatables. She munches whatever is available in the car before reaching the next village. Mr Ganesh Prasad, son of Mahadevaprasad, chalks out her daily plan and meets villagers before his mother does. " I did not know anything about politics as long as my father was alive. Now I am learning it slowly. Friends and well-wishers of my father are guiding us."

In most villages, women folk hold her hand affectionately, and promise to vote for her. Wiping the sweat on her forehead, she got down from the car to do a small padayatra inside a small village in Mallaiyanapura. "We have to walk in colonies inside villages to seek votes, otherwise they won’t vote for us", Ms Geetha added. She is planning a door to door campaign in big villages from Friday evening.

Vishwanath: Why should the cabinet camp in Mysuru?
Senior Congress leader A.H. Vishwanath said It was not necessary for the entire state cabinet to camp in Mysuru, just for the sake of winning the byelections. Interacting with mediapersons in Mysuru on Thursday, he said, "I had told KPCC President Dr G. Parameswar to leave the byelection campaign to local leaders. Whether the Congress wins or loses the byelections, its term will not be extended by another year. And by losing the polls, the Congress government will not fall," he said. "You (Congress leaders) have spoilt the culture of the party with cheap talk during these two byelections. Both former CMs and the current CM should not have stooped to such levels and abused each other," Mr Vishwanath said, adding, "If the Congress wins the byelections, it will be because of Mr Deve Gowda's help too as he indirectly supported the Congress by not fielding any candidate from JD(S)."

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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