Mysore, Apr 11 UNI | 4 months ago

Political parties in Mysore Kodagu Lok Sabha constituency are trying to tap into the strong network of women self-help groups (SHGs) in the region.

Out of total 17.2 lakh, 8.3 lakh voters are women and majority of them are in rural areas. Invariably, most of them are member of an SHG and hence candidates cutting across political spectrum are trying to woo them.

The focus is on the more influential members and most of such groups work independently of each other. However, at the village and Gram Panchayat level, some of the groups are interlinked with common objectives and goals, M A Mohan, spokespersons of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) told UNI.

Mr Lakshman, a Congress leader, said the party had not ignored any of the microscopic groups and had reached out to them through their office-bearers.

The groups spread out in the rural hinterland are into manufacturing of household products and they are not necessarily member of a union, though they have some kind of network and this is being harnessed, he added.

Nevertheless, no political party is ignoring this network and the BJP has floated its own network of such groups in the Krishnaraja Assembly segment.

K N Shivalingaiah, District Lead Bank Manager, State Bank of Mysore, pointed out that there were nearly 40,000 SHGs in Mysore district. Norms require that an SHG should have a minimum of five members and a maximum of 20 members and assuming that there is an average of ten members in each such group, it works out to nearly four lakh SHG members in the district.

Even if one discounts the SHGs from Varuna, Nanjangud, H D Kote and Krishnaraja Nagar Assembly segments as they are not part of Mysore Lok Sabha constituency, one has to reckon with the SHGs in Madikeri and Virajpet in Kodagu, and it is still a sizeable number. The state will go to polls on April 17.

(Posted on 11-04-2014)