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BJP candidate trailing in Sira, BSY jumps in to give boost

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will put on his poll shoe and campaign for the first time in Sira on Thursday to give a boost to BJP candidate Dr Rajesh Gowda, who is seen to be trailing marginally in an internal assessment conducted by the government. 

The analysis states that Congress candidate T B Jayachandra is still leading Dr Rajesh Gowda, but by a wafer-thin margin of around 3,000 votes. Initially, the BJP was seen to be gaining its vote share but has hit a plateau now, the assessment states. Ammajamma, the JDS candidate and wife of former MLA late B Sathyanarayana, is in the third position. 

BJP strategists said that the Congress and JDS are fighting for an identical voter base, and Yediyurappa is expected to target those areas and communities to wean them away. The constituency has a large Kunchatiga population which is divided three-way as the candidates from all the three political parties belong to this community. Still, Jayachandra has a considerable sway here. 

At Hulikunte Hobli, which has a large number of Dr Rajesh Gowda’s family members, there is tremendous support for the saffron party. Jayachandra is placed third as Ammajamma is seen to have gained some ground here. Ammajamma, who hit the campaign trail late because of Covid, is seeking votes in the company of party patriarch H D Deve Gowda, former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and MP Prajwal Revanna, who are working hard to tip the scale in party’s favour and retain the seat, which was held by Sathyanarayana and whose death necessitated the bypoll.

The pockets with minority community seem to support all the three candidates, but Jayachandra a little more. The other important community here is of Kurubas, who consider Siddaramaiah as their leader. Some local netas are trying to woo Kurubas away from the Congress by raking up an old issue where a piece of land was given to Kunchatigas leaving Kurubas unhappy during the Congress government when Jayachandra was the district in-charge minister and Siddaramaiah the CM. But that does not seem to have dented the community support.

The Scheduled Castes, who have several sub-sects, traditionally supported the Congress and JDS. But BJP leaders are going to villages and holding meetings to woo them, with Congress and JDS hot on their trail.
Lingayats as a block are supporting the BJP, and the saffron party sees no trouble on that front and is not focusing on this community.  Jayachandra, who lost last time, has been campaigning hard this election. That is because he knows that if he loses now, he will not get a ticket from the Congress again, as revealed by the public statements of All-India Congress Committee General Secretary, Karnataka in-charge, Randeep Singh Surjewala, and Siddaramaiah.

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