In November last year, he was the outsider battling an aggressive campaign by BJP strongman B Sriramulu for his sister and former MP Ms J. Shantha and yet, Mr V.S. Ugrappa snatched the saffron stronghold by a huge margin of 2.4 lakh votes.
This time, Mr Ugrappa, the Congress candidate for the Ballari Lok Sabha seat, is no outsider having piloted several developmental works during his short stint as MP. But there are problems like the dissidence among Congress MLAs some of whom are reportedly tilting towards the BJP which could mar his prospects.
The MP dismisses these irritants and is also dismissive of his opponent, the BJP’s Y. Devendrappa, claiming he is harping only on the Modi factor and his contribution to the constituency is nil. “The BJP MPs in the past14 years did nothing for Ballari’s development,” he asserts.
And why should Ballari vote for him? “They know they can approach me any time without the intervention of middlemen. I am what a true representative of the people should be,” Ugrappa adds....