This Week Karnataka: What CM jinx, asks Shettar
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Few Karnataka chief ministers have got around to visiting the backward district of Chamarajnagar in south Karnataka in recent times, apparently out of fear about a jinx — whoever goes there will lose power. B S Yeddyurappa assiduously skirted the district during his time in power. In 2007 the JDS's H D Kumaraswamy became the first chief minister in two decades to visit the region. Jagadish Shettar, the current chief minister, sought to use the supposed jinx to his advantage, making sure he mentioned it when he did visit Chamarajnagar recently. "It is nothing but superstition that a CM will lose power if he visits Chamarajanagar. When I was a minister I visited Chamarajanagar, and later I became the CM," Shettar said during his visit.
For women's safety
In the aftermath of the Delhi gangrape, the Karnataka government has been stretching its imagination to come up with measures to demonstrate its concern about women's safety. New standard operating procedures are being drawn up at the home department, new helplines have been set up, a 24×7 all-women emergency response team, "Abhaya", has been put in place; it is on the lines of the existing "Hoysala" patrol and quick-response team . The police are making themselves available on email and the social media to receive complaints. Even the energy department has got involved — it was headed until recently by Shobha Karandlaje, the only woman minister in the BJP government — with the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company opening a helpline for women.
The elections may still be months away but the political machinery in the state has already rolled into election mode. Potential candidates are scouting for constituencies. Regional parties such as former Yeddyurappa's new Karnataka Janata Party have decided where they will fight on their own, and where they will take on incumbent BJP candidates through a tacit understanding with the Congress. The family of JDS president and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda has two daughters-in-law in the hunt for safe constituencies. And all the political chatter is about strengthening booth-level organisation.
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