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Mysore Assembly
Chamaraja: Two Poll Veterans and Others
Assembly Polls - 2008

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The prestigious Chamaraja Assembly constituency, which has seen many historical poll battles in the past, is again set to witness one more crucial battle as three - time MLA H. S. Shankaralinge Gowda has locked horns with Congress heavy - weight Vasu (former Mayor).

Vasu: A people-friendly politician who delivers
Congress candidate and former Mayor Vasu, who is contesting from this constituency for the second time, is one among the rare politicians. He distances himself from noisy and grandiose politics. And also from pretentious, noisy, show - off politics practised by some. Politicians do visit houses of people in distress, give false assurances and lip sympathy, get publicity and then forget. Vasu is not of that kind, say his friends. But it is rare to see people not getting relief when they go to Vasu for help. He is well - versed in planning ideas that would help remove hurdles and obstacles to get the people's work done, that were hitherto found difficult to overcome. His speciality lies in calling over phone the right person for the right work, sitting at home or office or even from his car if travelling.

Vasu has never involved himself in any controversy. He is also well - versed in not getting into any controversies. He does not openly discuss the internal matters of the party thus proving himself a disciplined soldier of the Congress. A soft - spoken politician, Vasu is not given to showing off when he gets power. It was so when he was the Mayor of Mysore and when he was the Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Veerappa Moily. He is one among the rare politicians who have clout in the top Congress brass and if elected, the constituency and, city per se will immensely benefit, say his party workers and friends. We have seen instances where people hang around a politician when he is in power and say good - bye to him when he loses power. But Vasu is an exception to such politicians. People will be with him whether he is in or out of power. This is the uniqueness of Vasu. The son of late Chennaiah, Vasu was born in Mysore on March 25, 1953. An MA, Vasu resides on Temple Road in Jayalakshmipuram.

He is the founder President of Vidya Vikas Education Institution and runs engineering, polytechnic, Pre - University and degree colleges, thus providing education to thousands of students. He is a member of the AICC and was elected as a member of Mysore City Corporation in the year 1983. He served as Youth Congress President in the year 1985. He effectively functioned as the leader of Opposition in Mysore City Corporation from 1987 to 1989. In 1990, he became the first Congress Mayor of Mysore. Later, he became the Political Secretary to Chief Minister Veerappa Moily in 1994. Vasu has also served as the Vice - President of Karnataka State Industrial Co - operative Bank in 1976, as the Director of Vikrant Tyres Ltd., and PLD Bank Ltd., and as a member of the Baden Powell Education Society.

He had a long stint in the Co - operative sector and served as the President of State Industrial Co - operative Bank and Karnataka State Co - operative Federation. He was also the Director of National Co - operative Union of India at New Delhi. He was the President of the Reception Committee of the 60th All India Kannada Sahitya Sammelan and strived for the success of the event that was held at Mysore Palace premises. Vasu, who at present is serving as President of Mysore Athletics Club, runs Engineering, Hotel Management, MCA, B.Sc., BBM, Polytechnic, D. Ed and Nursing courses in his Vidya Vikas. He is the proprietor, printer and publisher of Kannada morning daily Kannadigara Prajanudi and English eveninger The Mysore Mail. He is associated with several social, cultural and co - operative institutions.

M. Pratap's debut:
M. Pratap, a resident of 6th Main Road, 1st Stage, Vijayanagara is contesting for the first time from Chamaraja Assembly constituency as a JD (S) candidate. The 46 – year - old Pratap, who is a BE graduate, is the son of late P.V. Mahadevaiah of Vinayakanagar. Pratap is a civil engineer and a Class I contractor by profession. Having his primary education at Nirmala Convent and high school education at Hassan, he had his PU Education at Mahajana College. A prominent Vokkaliga leader served as the President of Lions Club of Mysore Central and is popularly known as Lion Pratap. He is currently serving as the President of MUDA Contractors Association and as President of Vijayanagar Sports Club. He is the promoter of late Nittur Srinivas Rao Memorial Foundation and is the Hon. President of H. D. Kumaraswamy Fans’ Association.

He is the former Secretary of Mysore chapter of Builders Association of India. He is also the Director of Contractors Credit Co-operative Society and Vijayanagar Resident's Welfare Association. Pratap is a member of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, the Institution of Engineers, Golf Club, Cosmopolitan Club and Vontikoppal Club. Pratap has promised that he will not only work for the constituency, but will give top priority for the uninterrupted supply of drinking water to the city.

H. S. Shankaralinge Gowda in the race again:
H. S. Shankaralinge Gowda, who is contesting the election as the BJP candidate of Chamaraja constituency for the fourth time, has been elected thrice from this constituency. Shankaralinge Gowda, who was born on the 16th of Aug. 1947, is the son of late Sidde Gowda, who was the leader of Hemmige village in Mandya district. He is a resident of Sahukar Chennaiah Road, Thonachikoppal. Married to Nagalakshmi, he has two sons and two daughters. One of his sons is Nandish Preetham, a serving Corporator. A B.Sc., graduate, Shankaralinge Gowda is presently serving as President of Kuvempunagar Residents Welfare Association and Kuvempunagar Citizens Forum. He is the founder of Sri Anjaneyaswamy Temple Trust at Gangotri Layout. Gowda, who was the Corporator from 1983 to 1988 and from 1989 to 1994, was the Mayor in 1988.

He got elected to the Assembly for the first time in 1994 and got re - elected in 1999 and 2004. He was conferred the title "Best Citizen of India" in 2002 by the International Publishing House. He was also honoured as "Karnataka's Child - friendly MLA" in 2005. Shankaralinge Gowda's hobbies include reading, getting involved in religious functions and serving the people all the time. He showed his capacity as a good organiser during his college days. He developed interest in literature, politics and debate. He has assured the voters that he will strive for the overall development of the constituency if elected for the fourth time.

Lakshmana, people's candidate - Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy:
Voters of Chamaraja Constituency should be happy as they can vote for a candidate who meets most of the criteria one looks for in any ideal political candidate. He has already served Mysore by taking active role in trying to solve the city’s myriad problems. Such a candidate is M. Lakshmana, Convenor of Association of Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore (ACICM). Burning issues Lakshmana - led ACICM succeeded in taking up several civic causes affecting the citizens like water crisis, pig menace, Makkaji Chowk, corruption at MUDA and MCC, garbage problems, Chamalapura Thermal Power Plant etc. One of the outstanding qualities of Lakshmana is to identify burning civic issues and then to collect all the data to develop different alternatives to solve them. Lakshmana has promised that he would resign if voters later decide that he has not kept up with his pre - poll assurances of not taking bribes, working for the city and citizens etc. Can we expect such assurances from his opponents?

Some may also feel that Lakshmana had all along been planning to contest and his interest in ACICM was towards that goal. I also faced similar criticism when I contested in the elections. I do not see anything wrong with that provided he does not use his position to enrich himself as most politicians have done.

Courtesy: Star of Mysore

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