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Karnataka polls: How politics revolves around caste lines in Mysore

Apr 25, 2013 09:53 AM IST Politics Politics

Mysore: There are just 10 days to go for the Assembly elections as CNN-IBN's Karnataka Yatra reaches battlefield Mysore. Politics revolves around caste lines in modern day Mysore.

Fertile agricultural land being turned into residential plots and apartments is one of the first sights that hit one as they drive into Mysore. Farmers like Samy Gowda have all sold their lands to realtors and they say in the area which was known for it's agricultural produce, a farmer has no space .

Inside Mysore city, the overflow of business from Bangalore has been pouring over the last decade turning a traditional city into an ultra modern town. BK Harsh, who owns the famous Saraswathi Talkies, a theatre in Mysore, says he's worried that the city may descend into chaos like Bangalore.

As Mysore city turns into a bustling urban jungle, politics in the old Mysore regions continues to revolve around the Vokkaliga caste vote. Primarily agrarian, it's one of Karnataka's biggest caste blocks and Deve Gowda's JD(S) is seen as a prime player when it comes to Vokkaliga politics.

It's that vote that has given Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy enough seats from this region to be kingmakers in the past. This time, too, candidates like GT Deve Gowda from Mysore depend on that caste vote.

The BJP has a meagre presence here and it's virtually a two-way battle between the JD(S) and the Congress. Majority of congress candidates from the region are like actor turned politician Ambarish who belongs to the Vokkaliga caste. Ambarish hopes that along with his caste the presence of strong leaders like Siddaramiah who belongs to the OBC Krurba community in the Congress would give them the edge.

At the end of the day how the caste equations crystalise in the old Mysore region could well be decisive for the final picture in Karnataka.