Congress-JD(S) dissidence supported Pratap Simha’s win

MP Prathap Simha and his wife Arpitha.

Pratap Simha’s victory from Mysuru-Kodagu Lok Sabha constituency, defeating Congress-JD(s) candidate C H Vijayshankar, has revived the BJP’s hopes of strengthening the party in Kodagu.

Simha’s huge victory margin has proven a huge setback for the coalition partners. It is believed that the dissidence within the coalition partners and the votes polled in the two Assembly constituencies in Kodagu contributed to the size of the victory margin.

With the defeat of Vijayshankar, the rumblings within the parties have come out. Lack of co-ordination, internal conflicts and non-compliance of coalition dharma were regarded the main reasons behind the defeat of Vijayshankar.

During the campaigning, K K Manjunath was made president of the District Congress Committee. Angered by the appointment of Manjunath, some Congress workers sulked and stayed away from campaigning.

The JD(S) too made a similar move by appointing K M B Ganesh as the president of JD(S) district unit. Former MLA B A Jivijaya and his supporters, opposing the appointment, had threatened to resign from the party.

Party chief H D Deve Gowda had intervened and had promised to redress their grievances after the elections. The dissidence within the party, which had seemed like a thing of the past, however, mounted when JD(S) President A H Vishwanath declared that Ganesh was appointed at the behest of the leaders.

Party workers had shouted slogans against Ganesh at a rally being addressed by former chief minister Siddaramiah in Kushalnagar. Party candidate Vijayshankar and former minister M C Mahadevappa had attempted to take the disgruntled leaders into confidence but the election results have proven beyond doubt that the damage control steps had little impact.

Initially, BJP party workers had objected to the decison to field Pratap Simha from Mysuru-Kodagu Lok Sabha constituency. They had also lobbied, demanding ticket for a local candidate. But all disagreements were buried, when the party leaders declared Pratap Simha as their official candidate.

A drive seeking re-election of Modi as prime minister drowned all dissenting voices and prompted party workers to work towards ensuring the victory of Pratap Simha.

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