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Bangalore North: Lawyers, lawmakers and the law

The Bangalore North constituency is being wooed by three lawyers this election - from the BJP, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-IBNdeepab18

Updated:April 8, 2014, 12:12 PM IST
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Bangalore North: Lawyers, lawmakers and the law
The Bangalore North constituency is being wooed by three lawyers this election - from the BJP, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.

Bangalore: "Trust me, I'm a lawyer." Yes, you may laugh; but that's the one credential that all three major candidates in Bangalore North will be going to the voter with. A fourth will probably say - Trust me, I'm a former cop. The Bangalore North constituency is being wooed by three lawyers this election - from the BJP, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.

The most reputed of them is Prof Babu Mathew - a former Registrar of the National Law School of India University, a gold-medalist M.Phil-holder from the same University.

The most popular face among them is probably DV Sadananda Gowda - simply because he has been Chief Minister of Karnataka earlier and his photos have filled many posters. But both of them may not win this election, if you went purely by voter pattern. In the last Assembly elections, the Congress polled more than double the votes that the BJP and the JDS put together polled in the assembly segments falling in this constituency.

The Congress and the BJP each have three MLAs in Bangalore North, while the JDS has two. But the Congress MLAs together polled a good 3.22 lakh votes, while the BJP got just 1.5 lakh votes between its winning candidates, and the JDS 1.1 lakh.

Can you really go by Assembly statistics? It's surely indicative, but two-plus-two has never meant four in politics. Statistics don't take into consideration the fact that C Narayanaswamy, the man the Congress has fielded, is a relative newbie in the Congress, having spent over 30 years in the JDS until last year. But in this constituency, where the majority Vokkaliga community is the primary vote-bank, the Gowda (Vokkaliga) caste-man will surely benefit. And Sadananda Gowda, though he is of the same community, comes with an "outsider" tag - he is from Mangalore in coastal Karnataka.

But Narayanaswamy has another reputation to live down. For the ten-plus years, he has been known as the'solo' leader. Before you get mesmerised and start comparing him with Rajnikanth... 'Solo' in Kannada means 'loser.' Wherever he has contested an election, whenever he has contested, Narayanaswamy has always lost... his only win was in 1996 as an MP from the same region.

DVS, as Sadananda Gowda is often known, will also expect to pitch his honest tag in this election... though he became CM because of Yeddyurappa, he also lost his CM-ship because of Yeddyurappa. In 2011, when BJP's most famous - and infamous - face, Yeddyurappa, was asked by the party to step off the CM's gaddi, he had pushed for DVS as chief minister in a local coup of sorts... the logic was that Yeddyurappa will still hold the remote control.

But when he realised that DVS decorated the chair with more than Yeddyurappa's commands, there were many rebellions that led up to DVS being dethroned as swiftly as he had ascended. Many believe this was because his honesty didn't allow him to bow to every whim of the "higher command." Despite this, he has a private complaint about a land case that is being tried in the Lokayukta court.

Narayanaswamy too has a clean image - and a lot of goodwill in the area. Known as someone who enjoys Chief Minister Siddaramaiah's support, he will likely hold sway over votes of the OBC groups too in the region, besides that of the minorities.

Prof Mathew though doesn't go by caste or political backing to front his cause. "My position is, an honest candidate in a corrupt party is a waste of time," he professes.

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