LS 2024: JDS adds twist to Congress-BJP duel in Mysore-Kodagu Constituency


Team Udayavani, Mar 4, 2024, 10:41 AM IST

Mysore Lok Sabha Constituency, a blend of cultural heritage and political significance, has witnessed a notable shift in its political landscape over the years. Once a bastion of the Congress party, the lotus of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bloomed in this region over the past decade.

Historically dominated by Congress stalwarts like C H Vijayashankar, M. S. Gurupadaswamy, Tulasidas Dasappa, M. Rajasekara Murthy, and Srikantadatta Wadiyar, the constituency saw a notable transformation when C. H. Vijayashankar secured victory for the BJP in 1998, marking a significant departure from Congress dominance.

Comprising the culturally rich districts of Mysuru and Kodagu, this constituency has been witness to 17 elections since its inception in 1952. Out of these, the Congress has clinched victory 12 times, while the BJP has secured triumph on four occasions,

Recent elections have signaled a shift in political dynamics. Vijayashankar secured victory once again in 2004. In 2009, Adaguru Vishwanath won a seat in Parliament representing the Congress party. Then, in a surprising twist of events, Pratapa Simha emerged victorious in the 2014 elections as a BJP candidate. He repeated this success in the 2019 elections, securing another resounding victory.

The constituency encompasses a diverse array of voters, including the influential Vokkaliga community, whose support has proven instrumental in determining electoral outcomes. Analysis of past elections suggests that the party fielding a Vokkaliga candidate stands a strong chance of success, a strategy that has worked in favor of the BJP on two occasions.

The political landscape is further enriched by the presence of the Janata Dal (Secular) [JDS], who has often played a decisive role in shaping electoral outcomes. Despite being a direct contest between the BJP and the Congress, the strength of the JDS cannot be overlooked.

In the previous elections within the constituency, a triangular contest has been evident, characterized by a fierce rivalry between Congress and JDS. Despite Congress and JDS often competing closely, the BJP has strategically capitalized on their discord, securing victories in state Assembly constituencies.

In the last general election, despite a Congress-JDS alliance, BJP emerged victorious. However, the recent reconciliation between BJP and JDS indicates a shift in alliances. It is no secret that JDS leaders in the district had been indirectly aligning with BJP, either to undermine Congress or for their own political interests. Now, with JDS openly entering the fray, their strength becomes a decisive factor. So, while the main contest appears to be between BJP and Congress, the influence of JDS cannot be underestimated.

In recent years, the BJP has consolidated its position in assembly constituencies, even in the face of strong competition from Congress and JDS. The intricate dynamics of this contest underscore the importance of strategic alliances and community support in securing victory.

With over 15 lakh eligible voters, the constituency represents a diverse tapestry of communities, including the Vokkaliga, Kuruba, Scheduled Caste, Lingayat, Muslim, Nayakas, Brahmin, Kodagu Gowda, Kodava, Minority Communities, and Backward Classes. The political fate of Mysore Lok Sabha Constituency remains intertwined with the nuanced interplay of these diverse demographics.

As the electoral battleground heats up, all eyes are on the upcoming polls, where the BJP’s growing influence and strategic alliances are poised to redefine the political landscape of this culturally significant constituency.

Translated from a Kannada article by Satish Depura

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