In poll season, voters' wish-basket

In Haveri district's Shiggaon constituency, BJP candidate Basavaraj Bommai has been distributing a 40-page booklet of all the things he has done. Apart from a wide range of irrigation projects and drinking water services, Bommai has been highlighting the creation of Karnataka's first folklore university in the constituency, which aims to preserve local folk culture, art and innovation.

"There is no doubt that Bommai has done a lot of work. Projects like sprinkler irrigation systems have been brought to the region. He has also provided funds for building temples and mosques. The problem, however, is that Bommai is not easily accessible for people in the constituency because he lives in Hubli city or Bangalore," says S Sayed, a local event organiser from Shiggaon.

In Dharwad's Kalghatgi constituency, people are glad that sitting Congress MLA Santhosh Lad, a miner from Bellary who parachuted into the region in 2008 with no base of any kind, has managed to put the neglected constituency in focus in the last five years but accessibility to the MLA is a problem again.

With limited funds available from the BJP government in the last five years, Lad has invested his own money and drilled some 7,000 borewells in the 186 villages in the region, provided life insurance cover for the two lakh voters in the constituency and brought in heavy equipment from his mines to help locals level land, build roads or rebuild farm holdings. "Lad has put a lot of his personal money, some Rs 25 crore into the constituency but once he was elected he was not frequently seen. There is a feeling that he has neglected the constituency," said a resident of Kalghatgi town.


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