By P.T. Bopanna

Sitting Kodagu-Mysuru MP Pratap Simha (in picture) was mainly denied BJP ticket because he dented the carefully crafted strongman image of prime minister Narendra Modi as a man with a 56-inch chest.

Simha had signed the visitors’ passes of the duo who breached the newly built parliament’s security and released yellow gas from canisters on the anniversary of the Parliament terror attack in 2001.

The new Parliament building was a dream project of Modi and it was almost a joke that two amateurish protesters could simply walk into such a high security building. It was like mocking the image of Modi as a cult hero as the Parliament building he built lacked adequate security infrastructure.

The fate of Simha was sealed on December 13, 2023, when Mysuru resident Manoranjan D, an engineering graduate and his associate, effortlessly walked into the Parliament’s visitors’ gallery with the passes signed by Simha.

The duo and their idealistic associates outside the Parliament who raised slogans, belonged to Bhagat Singh fan club and wanted to draw the country’s attention to inflation, Manipur and dictatorship.

It is reported that Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah had visited the Mysuru Palace on a couple of occasions and had sounded the Mysuru royal family to contest as a BJP candidate even as far back as 2019. But the royal family was not keen on fielding Yaduveer Wadiyar.

However, this time around, the BJP high command succeeded in convincing Yaduveer to contest.

Going by the developments, the decision to dump Simha was taken months ago. But the high command waited to ensure that the operation was executed in such a way that it would not antagonise the sizable Vokkaliga base, the caste to which Simha belongs. The denial of ticket was handled like a political surgical strike to avoid any collateral damage.

Though Simha’s name was recommended from the constituency for the ticket, there was lack of support for simha at the selection meeting presided over by Amit Shah.

The state BJP leadership was against re-nomination of Simha who had alleged that the party lost the Assembly elections because of the ‘adjustment politics’, hinting there was understanding between former chief ministers B.S. Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai with Congress leader Siddaramaiah.

Though there may be some truth in the claim of Simha, he should not have gone public as he himself was beneficiary of adjustment politics.

JD (S) leader Deve Gowda who is famous for his Vokkaliga caste politics, had fielded a weak candidate against Simha in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Simha should have seen the writing on the wall and should have welcomed the candidature of Yaduveer. Instead he mocked the scion of the Mysuru royal family. But better sense prevailed on him and eventually he extended his support to Yaduveer.

It is well known by now that Simha is no more in the good books of Modi. It is time the voters of Kodagu understood the situation and stopped being swayed by Simha’s social media antics.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Yediyurappa justified the candidature of Yaduveer by claiming that the latter can influence voters in seven neighbouring constituencies. This is far from true because the royal family’s influence is confined at the most to parts of Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts.  

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1 Response

  1. Cariappa says:

    In fairness to Simha, it’s unlikely that he himself would have signed the ‘passes’.
    More likely than not his secretary would be the ‘guilty one’. Regrettably he has done virtually nothing for Kodagu. I hope his successor will prove more effective. We’re confronted with a looming environmental crisis

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