The battle for this Lok Sabha constituency comprising two districts ( Mysore and Kodagu) is expected to be an intense one. Buoyed by the response the rallies addressed by the leaders of their respective parties have evoked, the Congress and the BJP workers both fancy their chances to emerge victorious in this two way contest.
While some say the rally addressed by BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at Maharaja College Grounds had drawn a massive crowd, signalling that the Modi wave has swept Mysore, an equal number state that the one addressed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi a day later at the same venue drew an even larger response, indicating that the wave was a temporary one that got eclipsed.
The candidates of the two parties too feel the same. Congress candidate and incumbent AH Vishwanath said being a local and pitted against a green horn has an advantage.
Apart from banking on his own experience, Vishwanath has chief minister Siddaramaiah and his other cabinet colleagues working for him to ensure that the Congress candidate does not bite the dust in the chief ministers home turf to a rookie.
On the other hand, the BJP has fielded journalist Prathap Simha, who edged out two-time MP CH Vijayshankar. The local unit was not ready to accept an outsider initially and did not actively campaign from him. But Modi's stopover in Mysore to address a rally seems to have turned the tide in Simha's favour at least within the party's local unit.
Simha, who has authored a book on Modi, titled Narendra Modi: The Untrodden Road, said he is seeking votes on the basis of the work done by Modi in Gujarat.
Other candidates in the fray are Justice K Chandrashekariah from the JD(S) and Aam Aadmi Party's Padmamma MV who was a former deputy manager of SBI. Chandrashekariah is a former upa Lokayukta who made a late entry into the fray is being supported by the Social Democratic Party of India (SDFI).