Clash of the Reddys: Caste card unlikely to work in this seat

Clash of the Reddys: Caste card unlikely to work in this seat

Women collecting water, water come day after one day at Ejipura, BTM Layout assembly constituency in Bengaluru on Friday. Photo by S K Dinesh

It is Reddy vs Reddy in the BTM Layout constituency. If the name reminds people of the mining baron, it would not be that far-fetched since the BJP’s Lallesh Reddy is the nephew of Janardhana Reddy.

Indeed, Lallesh’s uncle campaigned for him in the constituency. “People have felt the need for a change. It has been a decade since this area had seen development activities, which people can sense,” Janardhana said.

Flexing his political muscles in the opposite camp is sitting two-time MLA Ramalinga Reddy of the Congress, a heavyweight whom Lallesh would find hard to oust.

Despite being busy campaigning for his daughter Soumya Reddy in the Jayanagar constituency, the Congress candidate did not remain silent in his own seat. He goes for canvassing in Jayanagar in the morning and returns to BTM Layout in the afternoon where he asks for votes till night.

The constituency has more or less an equal measure of Christians, SC/ST, Reddys, Vokkaligas, Brahmins and north Indians. But their numbers do not cross 15,000 or 20,000. This means political parties cannot play the caste card as they do in the other constituencies, but they have to get consolidated voting of all communities.

Five of the eight corporators in the constituency belong to the Congress, but the place is beset by several problems. The almost perennial traffic congestion, especially at the Silk Board and the Sony World junctions, remain the primary issue.

Many houses in Koramangala 4th block and Madiwala were flooded during the rain, while slums like Ejipura and Sudduguntepalya do not get regular water supply. "People here know me for almost a decade. They trust our work...,” said the Congress strongman.

On whether last year’s rain havoc could cause a setback for him, the sitting MLA’s swift response was: “We’ve reached out to people and worked on the stormwater drains. So, it’ll have no impact.”

There is a good reason for Ramalinga’s familiarity. Prior to delimitation, he won four terms from the Jayanagar constituency. Most localities of the Jayanagar constituency have now been included in the BTM Layout constituency. 

K Devdas from JD(S) and Dr Syed Asad Abbas from the Aam Aadmi Party are also in the fray.