Jayanagar poll: Cong fighting hard to rest saffron bastion

Jayanagar poll: Cong fighting hard to rest saffron bastion

A rally organised by the Election Commission on Thursday to raise awareness among voters in Jayanagar. DH Photo/S K Dinesh

After Rajarajeshwarinagar results, focus has now turned on Jayanagar to see which among the major parties would win this seat.

Though the outcome here may not have an impact on the state government, both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress are fighting hard to win the seat. RR Nagar is a Congress bastion which the grand old party managed to retain, while Jayanagar had firmly been on the BJP’s side for the past decade.

BJP workers count on two factors that would swing the election in their favour. One is the work done by former MLA BN Vijayakumar, hailed as “Good Samaritan”, and the second is the sympathy wave after Vijayakumar suddenly died of a cardiac arrest while campaigning for the seat. His brother BN Prahalad is contesting here on a BJP ticket.

After JD(S) withdrew its candidate Kalegowda from the field, it has become a bipolar contest between Congress and the BJP. JD(S) has thrown its lot with the Congress candidate Soumya Reddy, who is contesting for the first time.

Given that the JD(S) had garnered 12.66% votes during the 2013 polls, it would be interesting to see if those votes would fall in support of the Congress.

Asked if he was personally disappointed by his party’s decision to withdraw from the race and support the Congress, Kalegowda said it was the high command’s decision. “I respect the decision,” he said.

Soumya, an officebearer in city Youth Congress Committee, is posing a tough challenge to the BJP. She is banking heavily on her father Ramalinga Reddy’s popularity, while also holding fierce campaigning in the constituency.

She said people have identified her as an individual who could bring in change. “I don’t think the educated people here vote emotionally. They connect with those who could bring real change,” she added. Sowmya has been campaigning in the constituency since last year, while her father has also taken a personal interest here.

Not wanting to lag behind, the BJP has fielded union minister Ananthkumar and his wife to campaign for its candidate. On Thursday, party state president BS Yeddyurappa and former Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda hit the campaign trail. Residents here also look up for BJP’s social media campaign.

Indipendent candidate Ravikrishna Reddy is also campaigning hard to pull off an upset win.  

Five issues:
 Commercialisation, mixed zoning of the area
 Rooftop pubs and bars
 Delay in replacement
of sewage lines
 Parking problem
 Continued shutdown of Jayanagar shopping complex