50 kilometres from Bangalore is considered to be a model constituency for many in Karnataka.
Kumaraswamy is seeking a re-election for the third time from Ramnagar and looking at the way things are going, it looks pretty clear that he will emerge victorious. Interestingly there were reports that he may not contest at all from his pet constituency as he believed that he could suffer due to an anti incumbency factor. After much deliberation and discussion with his party workers, Kumaraswamy decided that he would contest from Ramnagar itself.
Kumaraswamy is no doubt a crowd puller. People in his constituency say that they see hope in him and Ramnagar has developed a great deal under him. However there are many who also point out that he spends very less time in his constituency, but the JD(S) says that he is the leader of the party and needs to focus on every constituency.
Kumaraswamy is a busy man. He starts his campaigns very early in the day. It is not only Ramangar constituency that he has to look after. He tours the entire state since he is the only star campaigner other than his father, H D Deve Gowda for the JD(S).
When compared to the last elections this time there is a considerable amount of change in the manner in which Kumaraswamy and the JD(S) have approached the elections. They are clearly more tech savvy in their approach and have acknowledged the fact that technology is very necessary to connect with the urban voters. However in Ramnagar, the biggest attraction is Kumaraswamy himself. People listen with a lot of patience to what he is saying.
However what has the crowds even more interested is the hi-tech vehicle that he uses for his campaign. A specially designed Toyota Commuter, it has a special hydraulic lift that carries him up when he has to address the people. It has a state of the art sound system and has recliners and a sofa.
Kumaraswamy sounds very optimistic about the results of the forthcoming elections. The people will choose us this time, he says while echoing his father H D Deve Gowda’s sentiment that the party shall not be kingmaker but king. Kumaraswamy says that the recent Urban Local Body polls was a good sign for the JD(S) and they were confident of doing well across the state.
HDK or Kumaranna as he fondly called says that it is a misconception that his party is resticted to only one part of Karnataka. This is something that the Congress has been spreading, he said. I know we have a trend in our favour in Northern Karnataka as well and we will do well. The people will give us the mandate to form the government this time.
Kumaraswamy is very clear when he speaks about an alliance in case of a hung assembly. We will sit in opposition he says. However I am thinking that there would not be such as scenario since I am confident we will get a majority.
The people of Ramnagar appear to be backing him a lot. The one main factor that would go in favour of Kumaraswamy is that he is a Chief Ministerial candidate and the people of the constituency would love to have their candidate taking the top spot.
The competition like the last time is not stiff in Ramnagar for Kumaraswamy. The last year there was a major hype around this constituency as he was up against Ramakrishna Hegde’s daughter Mamatha Nichani. However the poll result told the story as to how no one could be competition to him. He polled around 71000 votes while Mamatha managed a paltry 23000. Interestingly he also broke a major superstition in the Gowda family. It was said that the Gowda family always loses to a woman candidate and hence the Congress had fielded a lady against him. He proved that wrong.
On the face of it people do not have complaints per se against Kumaraswamy. They consider him to be their undisputed leader. However they are most emotive about the Cauvery Waters issue and the JD(S) has made this their primary focus. Kumaraswamy says that they will fight the battle in court and ensure that Karnataka gets a fair deal. However this is not the only issue that he address when he hits the campaign trail. The failure of the BJP government in Karnataka is his pet issue.
Overall Ramangar will see a one sided battle and it would be victory for Kumaraswamy.