HDK’s emotional blackmail won’t work in Channapatna: C P Yogeshwar

It’s believed that state Janata Dal (Secular) president H.D. Kumaraswamy and Energy Minister D.K. Shivakumar have a tacit understanding as far as Channapatna constituency is concerned. But  C.P. Yogeshwar of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who is contesting from  the constituency for a third time, seems unperturbed. He  spoke to SHYAM SUNDAR VATTAM of this and more.

Mr Kumaraswamy is contesting from both Ramanagara and Channapatna. Do you see him as a challenge? 

Well, Mr Kumaraswamy is free to contest from any number of constituencies. It’s not going to affect my prospects in any manner. I am ready to take on all opponents as the voters are on my side. His wife, Anita Kumaraswamy, contested and lost from Channapatna in 2008 and ever since she has not turned up. Now, her husband wants to test the waters here. He is most welcome to do it. Anyhow, the fight will be between the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party as the Congress party has no base here.

Don’t you think that the 90,000 Vokkaliga votes will be divided as both you and Mr Kumaraswamy belong to the same community?

It’s true that the votes of Vokkaligas are very crucial for any candidate and they will be divided this time.  But, there are other community votes like of the Kurubas, Besthas, SC/STs and Tigalas, which will decide the fate of the candidates. Why should Vokkaligas vote for the Janata Dal (Secular) when its contribution to the constituency is a big zero? The Dalits don't vote for Mr Kumaraswamy because of the atrocities committed on them and due to his dictatorial attitude. Fortunately, I am loved by all communities because of the development I have brought here over the last ten years.

Are you aware that  Mr Kumaraswamy and Mr Shivakumar have entered into an agreement to defeat you this time?

It is an open secret that they have been trying to defeat me for the  last decade but they have been unsuccessful. I am thankful to God that the Assembly elections are being held in summer so the people of my constituency can compare their villages with neighbouring taluks. In Channapatna, there is no shortage of water in any of the villages following the filling up of 101 small and big tanks, while the people of other villages are scrambling for water. That's the difference between Channapatna and other constituencies. If I am tension-free today, it is because of my hard work of the last ten years.

So you think Mr Kumaraswamy’s chances of winning from Channapatna constituency are tough?

Basically, people are wondering why Mr Kumaraswamy should contest from two adjoining constituencies-Ramanagara and Channapatna. Also, he goes to Ramanagara once  a year and has totally lost touch with people of the constituency. Although the Manchanabele reservoir has been full over the last three years, not an acre is irrigated. This shows that Mr Kumaraswamy has no knowledge of irrigation and only tries to whip up emotion by weeping in public rallies. His ‘emotional blackmail’ is not going to work in Channapatna constituency.

Will you get the minority Muslim votes?
I know that I am not going to get a major chunk of the Muslim votes. But that will be compensated with other community votes. In election, one has to win and another, lose. I am optimistic that people will definitely vote for development.

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