Motamma, Ningaiah, Kumaraswamy to slug it out in Mudigere

CHIKKAMAGALURU: A fierce triangular fight is on the cards in Mudigere Assembly seat with candidates of the three major political parties – Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) – slugging it out to display the clout they enjoy over voters. 

After a gap of two elections, Congress leader and former minister Motamma is back in the electoral fray and faces her old rival and Janata Dal (S) nominee B.B. Ningaiah. Ningaiah and Motamma had faced each other on a couple of occasions in Mudigere which is reserved for Scheduled Castes and both had their chance to represent the seat. Motamma and Ningaiah faced each other for the first time in the 1985 election when Congress nominee Motamma was defeated by Ningaiah, then a Janata Party candidate. In the next election, Ningaiah as a Janata Dal nominee trounced Motamma by a margin of 3,169 votes. In the 1999 election, Motamma came back strongly winning the seat by defeating Janata Dal (Secular) nominee Ningaiah and became a Minister in the S.M. Krishna government. 

Motamma lost the 2004 election and the party denied her the ticket in 2008 and 2013. Motamma was replaced by Chandrappa in both elections but he did not succeed in the battle against Bharatiya Janata Party nominee M.P. Kumaraswamy who won the seat in 2004 and 2008. 

Sources in Mudigere say Motamma did not evince much interest after losing the 2004 election. She was made Council member but did not evince much interest in constituency development, say voters. 

But her opponent Ningaiah is facing anti-incumbency which might work in Motamma’s favour.  

Janata Dal (Secular) sources say Ningaiah has strived for the development of the constituency in the past five years. Since, Mudigere is geographically vast, the work he has done is not easily visible but voters are aware of it, they said. 

Hoping to make a comeback, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kumaraswamy is confident of winning the seat with party sources claiming they have the backing of the dominant Vokkaligas. 

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