Bangalore's lack of warmth worries BJP

Bangalore's lack of warmth worries BJP

BJP leaders were in a celebratory mood on Wednesday after the party proved it still has a hold on the urban and educated voters, compared to the Congress and the JD (S).

However, the ruling party was given a run for its money in the Bangalore Graduates’ Constituency, which had been the domain of senior leader Ramachandregowda who had monopolised the constituency for 24 years.

Though Loksatta party candidate Ashwin Mahesh, faculty of IIMB, failed to strike a chord with the urban voters, he ate into a substantial chunk of BJP’s vote bank. Mahesh was relegated to the fourth slot after the counting of the first preferential votes.

Bangalore Rural and Ramanagara, which falls under the same constituency, however, gave an edge to JD (S) candidate A Deve Gowda who had earlier unsuccessfully contested against Ramachandra Gowda.

Though Vokkaligas form the dominant community in these districts, the JD(S) was not able to make inroads into the Bangalore Graduates’ constituency. It is for the first time the party has been in a position to turn around its fortunes.

Legislative Council chairperson D H Shankarmurthy, who emerged victorious for the fifth time, said, “The party stood by me like a rock.

Also, my rapport with the people is good. I have been away from active politics as I am the chairperson of the Council. Still, people have not forgotten me. In the first round itself, I was leading by 2,500 votes.”

To a query whether he would like to continue as the chairperson, or would ask for a Cabinet berth, he said it was for the party to decide.

Ganesh Karnik, a former army officer, has managed to enter the Council for the second term from the South-West Teachers' Constituency. 

“People have reposed their faith in me and I am happy. I would like to continue to work up to their expectations. This time, the margin has come down considerably. I was elected in the first round last time, but this time it was in the elimination process.

Last time, since I was a fresh candidate, it helped me to win easily,” he said, adding that he faced stiff competition from Manjunath, an Independent candidate.

Y A Narayanswamy, the winner from the South-East Teachers’ Constituency, proved to be a lucky mascot for the BJP. The party may have lost the seat if he had chosen to contest these  elections too as an Independent. He had resigned as an Independent member of the Council to join the BJP recently.

“I thought BJP was a better choice for me than the Congress, as its members are qualified, sober and dignified. I subscribe to the party’s ideologies. Atal Behari Vajpayee is my role model,” he said.

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