Keeping the approaching assembly elections in mind, the JD(S) has stepped up efforts to garner the support of Vokkaliga leaders, minorities and OBCs in the old Mysore region and coastal areas.
However, JD(S) state chief HD Kumaraswamy did not want to reveal anything to the media persons in this regard, especially since another Vokkaliga leader of old Mysore area and senior Congressman SM Krishna too was targeting the same vote bank.
“I had been reading about the analysis that you people (scribes) have been writing. Most of them were about the political movements in the state in the next three months up to the run up to the elections. But, in politics anything can happen in that crucial period. Take it from me, this elections will not be fought on caste or community basis, but on good governance, corruption free administration and development. It is left to you how you analyse it” he told DNA.
“I do not deny that the JDS had a strong base in old Mysore region. They were our valued voters and followers, because our party had done justice to their calls. There were many issues pertaining to the farmers in the old Mysore region that the JD(S) has worked with them,” Kumaraswamy said.
The JD (S) leader said he was not scared of Krishna and was weighing his options of bringing some disgruntled elements from the Congress to his party fold. “Once Krishna makes his entry, I am sure there will be many Congressmen, who would like to switch loyalties. It is not the same Krishna of 1999, who led his party to victory. This Krishna has been away from state politics for more than eight years.”
Political leaders in the old Mysore region, however, feel that though they were not contemporaries, the contest between two to lead their parties in this tough terrain was worth watching.
“Let us not forget BS Yeddyurappa, in his new avatar, may also wear the pro-farmer fabric. It is also true that Vokkaligas are also worshippers of Shiva and Yeddyurappa is a master in the art of turning religious support into political one. Though as a BJP leader he could not do much in the old Mysore region, in his new role he might spring a surprise,” said Mallikarjunappa, a Yeddyurappa supporter from BJP’s Malvalli taluk unit.
Meanwhile, in the coastal region too the JD (S) was continuing with its quest to woo Vokkaliga groups, known locally as Bunts. After pocketing B Nagaraja Shetty, former BJP MLA and minister, Kumaraswamy has now netted Sadananda Shetty, a charismatic Bunt leader.
Both have good financial clout and enjoy support of the community members settled in Mumbai and Gulf countries.
Kumaraswamy is also hopeful of bringing Kundapur MLA Haladi Srinivas Shetty to his party fold. “We had few round of talks, but ultimately the decision can be made by him alone. He is a self made leader with a great character, and I am sure he will take the right decision,” he said.