JD(S) attempt to woo urban voters fails

The popularity has nosedived compared to 2001 polls


But HDK and his party has always identified itself with rural Karnataka. So, Bangaloreans too maintained a distance from the JD(S) in the Palike elections. The hard selling of the party to voters has made no impact. None of the party’s promises nor the work it had done for the City could make voters place confidence with it, which is reflected in the fact that the party has just managed to win 15 seats of the 195 it contested. In case the party expected that its protest against the BMIC project would increase its popularity, then it has gone wrong.

The results show that its popularity has nosedived compared to 2001 BMP elections. Then, the party had won 26 against 100 seats. Later, eight of its members had quit the party to join the Congress.

JD(S) chief H D Deve Gowda held a series of protests in Yeshwanthpura, Bangalore South and Rajarajeshwari Assembly Constituencies (falling under the BMIC project jurisdiction), ahead of the BBMP elections. He hoped that local residents, who have lost their land to the project, would stand by the party in the polls. Gowda’s party, however, has been able to just two wards in these places -- Herohalli and Doddabidrukallu.
The party has faced a humiliating defeat in Hemmigepura, where Gowda kickstarted his protest against BMIC. Hundreds of farmers from these areas had taken part in the protest. The JD(S) had high hopes of better results in wards coming under BMIC project areas.

Besides, with its pro-poor and agrarian image, the party was on the view that it will perform well in the newly-added areas (erstwhile CMCs, TMC and 110 villages). The results have proved this wrong. Majority of wards the party has won is in erstwhile BMP area.

What went wrong for the JD(S)? “It is a combination of many things including the general perception that it is anti-urban party”, senior JD(S) leader Narayanaswamy said. The party expected a much better results but definitely the BJP worked better than the Opposition parties. The BJP  stopped many from going to polling booths, he alleged.
The Party did tell voters that it had done a good number of development work in the City. But urban electorate has some prejudice. “It is time for us to introspect. We have to come out of the anti-Bangalore image”, Narayanaswamy said.

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