Hassan: Speculations is rife that the BJP might make a comeback in Hassan, a stronghold of the JD(S), by winning a couple of seats out of the seven in the district. In the 2013 election, the BJP drew a blank in Hassan while the JD(S) won five seats and the Congress, two.
Thanks to anti-incumbency against sitting JD(S) legislator H.S. Prakash, the BJP is expected to win Hassan assembly seat a stronghold of the JD(S), which had won the seat in 1994, 2004, 2008 and 2013. Last time, the BJP won Hassan was in the 1999 election when its candidate was Hanumegowda.
Voters of the constituency allege that Prakash did not show much interest in development of the constituency and allege that the MLA has not taken enough steps to mitigate the drinking water crisis, which could deprive him of a major chunk of votes.
Captailising on the opportunity, BJP sources says its nominee, Preetham Gowda has worked tirelessly for the past couple of years and it may yield dividends for the party. He got close to people by supplying water by spending from his pocket and also took up garbage clearance in both urban and rural areas.
Despite the BJP’s confidence JD(S) leaders expressed hope of retaining the seat since its vote bank in the constituency has not been affected. Congress nominee H.K. Mahesh who lost the previous poll, is also sure that voters will bless him this time around.
Meanwhile, the BJP is also confident of winning Sakleshpur, a reserved seat for Scheduled Castes, where its candidate, Narve Somashekar is pitted against JD(S) nominee and former minister H.K. Kumaraswamy. The BJP claims that Somashekar enjoys huge support especially among youth of the constituency, a crucial factor which could help him win the seat.
However, JD(S) sources say voters in Kattaya hobli hold the key in the seat and Kattaya hobli is a strong bastion of the JD(S) which would give the party an edge. Congress nominee Siddaiah, a retired IAS officer, says he will capitalise on the anti-incumbency factor against sitting MLA Kumaraswamy.
In Belur seat, the BJP’s H.K. Suresh is likely to cause an upset. Here, the late MLA’s wife Keerthana and Lingesh of JD(S) are his challengers. All the three parties have a base in the constituency with the BJP reportedly making inroads surpassing the efforts of both the JD(S) and Congress, to increase its chances of winning the seat.
In Arasikere, Holenarsipur, Shravanabelagola and Arakalgud seats, there is a direct fight between the JD(S) and Congress candidates....