DK brothers’ give Congress its saving grace

Alliance worked only here to give Suresh a over 2L margin

Ramanagar: The Congress’ D K Suresh has registered a hat-trick from India’s third largest parliamentary seat Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency.

The victory of the lone Congress candidate from Karnataka by a margin of over two lakh votes is on expected lines. Political pundits credit Suresh’s victory to the stronghold he and his brother, Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar, have over the constituency than the party’s influence.

Suresh began preparing for the hat-trick six months before the polls were announced. He kept long-term political benefits in mind and toiled for the victory of Chief Minister 
H D Kumaraswamy’s wife Anitha Kumaraswamy from Ramanagara Assembly constituency in the November 2018 bypoll.

Of the eight Assembly segments in Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha seat, the Congress has four MLAs, while the JD(S) has three. Unlike in most parliamentary seats, the alliance between the JD(S) and the Congress worked well here.

Instability

Though a section of voters was upset with his performance, Suresh’s accessibility by the public played a significant role in his victory.

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He utilised funds under MGNREGA, besides constructing a record number of check dams. His contribution to the project to expand Bengaluru-Mysuru highway seems to have had an impact on voters.

Not only Suresh attended all progress review meetings, he also got works executed by bureaucrats. The BJP levelled charges of illegal mining and ill-gotten gains against him. However, they had little impact on voters.

BJP’s disinterest

In the BJP, the leaders never took the seat seriously. The leadership announced Ashwath Narayan Gowda’s candidature at the eleventh hour. 

Neither the state leaders nor the national leaders campaigned extensively for Gowda. State BJP president B S  Yeddyurappa did not spend much time there. The party was heavily dependent on C P Yogeeshwara for the victory.

The BJP is not strong at the grassroots here. The party has only one MLA in Bangalore South Assembly segment.

Due to the lack of dedicated workers, the party failed to organise itself properly at the booth level.

Though the BJP leaders were expecting leads from Bangalore South, Rajarajeshwarinagar and Anekal Assembly segments, there was less voting in these three seats. The party got leads from these segments, but it was insufficient.

There was more voting in the four Assembly segments of Ramanagara district and Kunigal segment in Tumakuru district. The Congress has polled more votes here.

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