M B MARAMKAL, TNN, Jun 17, 2010, 10.20pm IST
MYSORE: Karl Marx seems to be right in dubbing religion as `the opium
of the people'. For, in India, every election has castes and
communities playing vital role in influencing the voters. And the
election to the legislative Council from the South Graduates
constituency scheduled for Monday is no exception. Despite the
candidates addressing the voters as an intellectual lot, they are
secretly trying to woo them on the basis of castes.
In a voters strength of 89,000, Vokkaligas dominate the list with the
numbers crossing 23,000. They are followed by SC and OBC voters with a
strength of about 15,000 each. Lingayats account about 13,000 and
Brahmins follow them with 10,000 voters.
However, in this multi-cornered contest, the real fight seems to be
between the BJP, JD(S) and Congress with couple of independents.
Though independents may not win the elections, they will definitely
eat away into the votes of other party candidates.
While the BJP has fielded G Madhusudan, a Brahmin and two-time winner
from this seat, the JD(S) has re-nominated sitting legislator K T
Srikantegowda, a Vokkaliga, to take on Congress' Javagal Manjunath, a
Basically, the constituency is considered a strong hold of BJP and
JD(S), but the Congress is working overtime to prove that it has the
support of the educated class.
An added advantage for Congress candidate Manjunath is the presence of
large number of legislators and Parliament members in this
constituency, which comprises Mandya, Hassan, Mysore and Chamarjnagar
districts. All these leaders are trying to prick the conscience of
graduate voters by saying that unlike common voters, graduates have a
social responsibility to fulfill and it is their duty to mend the BJP
On other hand, BJP leaders are trying to garner votes on the basis of
Yeddyurappa's performance. At the same time, they never forget to
puncture the spirit of JD(S) by saying the JD(S)' victory in 2004 was
by `default'. Now, the JD(S) is working overtime to consolidate the
support of Vokkaliga voters who outnumber the other community voters
individually. Whatever the strategies, the victory of a particular
candidate depends on the support of SC and OBC voters who constitute
1/3rd of the total voters.
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