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Chitradurga- Can star power propel parties in the region?

April 11, 2018

Chitradurga- A star studded battlefield

Chitradurga district lies in the central-eastern region of Karnataka in the heart of Deccan Plateau, it shares state boundary with the state of Andhra Pradesh. The region is known for its picturesque landscape, with lofty mountains of Deccan Plateau and the majestic valley of Vedavati river that flows from the centre of the district. Chitradurga is one of the least populated districts in the state as well as country, with a population of merely three lakh fifty thousand according to the 2011 Census report. The district has been a Congress bastion, due to party’s stronghold with regional communities such as Nayakas, Golas, and Kurubas.

Politics in Chitradurga is becoming a battle stage for film stars and actors, with parties looking for regional film stars with connection to Chitradurga, as an alternative to strengthen their vote bases in the region. Congress party is planning to field a renowned actress and one of the general secretaries of the party in Karnataka Bhavana, as they look to woo the voters in the region. Although in one of her recent rallies in Chitrdurga, Congress party leader left the stage in anger in the middle of her speech, when one of Bhavan’s party colleague, asked her to pause as azaan was taking place. The whole situation irked the actor turned politician, as she was seen muttering that this isn’t democracy. Congress is also trying to lure another superstar in Kiccha Sudeep, even though the actor hasn’t yet decided to joining politic. Apart from Congress, JD(S) is also trying to convince the Sandalwood superstar to join their ranks. Both parties acknowledge the fact that apart from the actor’s popularity, his caste also plays an important role in luring the voters, as he belongs to the Nayaka community. Nayakas have a strong presence in the region and can surely have an impact on the electoral outcome in the Karnataka Assembly elections. Congress party is looking to replace the tainted MLA NY Gopala Krishna, he had recently lost the elections in Molakarmuri, thus, leaving the seat vacant since then.

Bhartiya Janta Party recently released its list of 72 candidates for the upcoming state assembly elections, with the party naming one of its most influential Nayakas leader B Sriramulu to contest from Molakalmuru in Chitradurga. The move by BJP to nominate B Sriramulu is certainly a masterstroke by the party, taking into consideration the current sitting MP from Ballari, has a stronghold over Nayaka community. Thus, giving BJP a chance to gain significant vote share in the region that has been dominated by the Congress party over the years. Although, the move may backfire, with B Sriramulu’s supposed close ties with the infamous Yeddy brothers, who were involved in the 2011 mining scam, that led to the downfall of BJP government in Karnataka. The party has distanced themselves from the Yeddy brothers including Janardhana Reddy, who have a strong influence in the region.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed are of those of the author and do not represent the views of Elections.in.


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