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  • Jayanagar bypoll: Win for Congress’ Sowmya Reddy

    By admin - Thu Jun 14, 2:08 am

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    When the late BN Vijaykumar of the BJP won the election from Jayanagar in 2013, his winning margin over his Congress rival was 12,000-odd votes. Interestingly, the JD(S) candidate in that election polled a little over 12,000 votes as well

    Five years later, the arithmetic of the Congress + JD(S) combine worked to ensure the BJP no longer gained from the split in the opposition vote. As a result, Sowmya Reddy of the Congress defeated Vijaykumar’s brother BN Prahlad by 2,800-odd votes.

    The election to Jayanagar in Bengaluru city was countermanded after the death of Vijaykumar during the election campaign. The BJP expected the sympathy vote to accrue to Prahlad as an affable Vijaykumar was an extremely popular representative of the constituency, having won in both 2008 and 2013. Also Sowmya, though the daughter of Ramalinga Reddy, who was home minister in the Siddararamaiah government, is a political greenhorn. She has been known more for her work as an environmentalist and animal rights activist so far.

    The by-election result in Jayanagar, therefore, is important politically for more reasons than one. Jayanagar forms part of the Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency, that has been won by the BJP without a break since 1991. Union minister Ananth Kumar has been MP from the seat since 1996, winning six elections on the trot. His grip over the constituency can be gauged from the fact that even against a tough rival like Nandan Nilekeni of the Congress in 2014, Kumar won by a margin of over 2.25 lakh votes.

    But Kumar will now have reason to be worried. The 2014 win, in particular, was made possible due to the Narendra Modi wave. The defeat in Jayanagar means three of the eight Assembly segments under Bengaluru South are now with the Congress. The victory has also shown the arithmetic is working well and the transfer of the JD(S) vote to the Congress too is taking place on the EVM. With the Modi magic no longer what it was four years ago, a strong candidate could make Kumar sweat next year.


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