Former PM, ageing star among Karnataka candidates

Former PM, ageing star among Karnataka candidatesBangalore, April 29 (Inditop) A former prime minister, an ageing star, an ex-chief minister, a former central minister nicknamed ‘loan-mela mantri’ and the current chief minister’s son are some of the faces adding colour to the final phase of Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka.

The voting Thursday in 11 constituencies will complete the Lok Sabha poll exercise in the state because 17 seats had voted April 23.

Haradanahalli Dodde Deve Gowda, who turns 76 on May 5 and was prime minister between June 1996 and April 1977, is seeking a fifth term in the Lok Sabha. He is contesting from his home district Hassan.

Gowda, president of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), is battling K.H. Hanume Gowda of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and B. Shivaram of the Congress and a former minister.

As Gowda was the star campaigner of his party, which is contesting 21 of 28 seats, his son and daughter-in-law – H.D. Revanna and Bhavani respectively – managed his campaign in Hassan.

The ageing star is M.H. Ambareesh of such hit Kannada films like “Antha”, “Ranganayaki” and “Masanada Hoovu”.

Known as the ‘rebel star’ – he played the role of anti-hero in several films – and the ‘He Man’ of Mandya, his constituency, about 80 km from Bangalore, he suffered a shock defeat in the 2008 assembly polls.

The 58-year-old Ambareesh is facing a tough battle against N. Cheluvarayaswamy of the JD-S and L. Shivarame Gowda of the BJP. Shivarame Gowda is a former Congress legislator and crossed over to the BJP recently.

The ‘loan mela mantri’ is B. Janardhana Poojary of the Congress who is contesting from Dakshina Kannada. He earned the sobriquet as he organised public meetings to distribute loans from public sector banks during Indira Gandhi’s rule in the 1980s.

Poojary, 71, is up against the BJP’s Nalin Kumar Katilu, a former Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh volunteer who is 43. The JD-S has left the seat to the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which has put up trade union leader B. Madhav.

Former chief minister S. Bangarappa, 76, is locked in a fierce fight with chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s elder son B.Y. Raghavendra, 36, in his home district Shimoga. This is Raghavendra’s first outing in the Lok Sabha polls.

Bangarappa, who returned to the Congress recently after spending some time in the BJP and later the Samajwadi Party, is finding the going tough as Yeddyurappa is sparing no effort to ensure his son’s victory.

Raghavendra, a business management graduate, got the BJP nomination in the face of opposition from several state leaders who were against promoting family members in politics.

The other keenly fought constituency is Udupi-Chikmagalur. State BJP chief D.V. Sadananda Gowda is seeking election from this constituency for the first time. He had won from Dakshina Kannada in 2004.

His main opponent is K. Jayaprakash Hegde of the Congress. Hegde, who was a minister in the Janata Dal government headed by chief minister J.H. Patel, joined the Congress last year.

The JD-S has given the seat to the Communist Party of India (CPI), which has fielded Radha Sundaresh, who has been working for the welfare of coffee plantation workers in Chikmagalur district.

The other constituencies voting April 30 are Bagalkot, Haveri, Dharwad, Davangere, Mysore and Chamarajnagar.