While the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka is yet to pick its candidate from Mysuru-Kodagu region, the BJP has problems of its own as it has to choose between the tried and tested Pratap Simha and Kodava leader Appachu Ranjan.
Bengaluru: With the Lok Sabha elections fast approaching, the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka is left with very little choices to choose a candidate against the BJP for the Mysuru-Kodagu seat.
Firebrand BJP leader Pratap Simha is the sitting Member of Parliament from this seat and is almost certain to be given the BJP ticket from the seat, even though Kodava MLA Appachu Ranjan is an aspirant.
"Kodavas have not got any representation for many years from the Mysuru-Kodagu region, hence I have expressed my desire. It is left to the party to decide," said Ranjan.
Last time around, Congress candidate H Vishwanath was decimated at the hands of Simha, a low profile person who became a top politician aided by his Hindutva ideology and riding on the Narendra Modi’s wave.
Vishwanath has now shifted his loyalties to the JD(S) and age is against him. So he will not contest against Simha in all likelihood.
Another Kuraba candidate CH Vijayashankar — a former MP and minister — is now in the Congress and doesn't have much of a voice. So neither the JD(S) nor the Congress has any candidate to take on Simha.
However, the Congress said it has surprise candidates like Manjunath Urs — the grandson of former chief minister Devaraj Urs — and can also field Vijayshankar. A Kodava leader like Brijesh Kalappa has also said that he is ready to take on Simha.
Since the Congress has already got its vote share in Mysuru in places like Narasimharaja, Hunsur, Piriyapatna, Krishnaraja, Chamaraja and Chamundeshwari, fielding a Kodava leader may not be a wrong choice as it can cut the BJP votes from Virajpet and Madikeri — two segments that have been voting for the saffron party for the past two decades.
"The Kodavas did not get any representative from this region for many years. I expressed my willingness in 2009 and again in 2014. Again I will approach the leaders to give a chance as I can divert over 50% votes to the Congress from Virajpet and Madikeri," said Kalappa.
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Last Updated Feb 2, 2019, 5:56 PM IST