Jamakhandi bypoll: Past mistakes return to haunt BJP

Jamakhandi bypoll: Past mistakes return to haunt BJP

Sangamesh Nirani proves costly for BJP

Congress leaders with the candidate in Jamakhandi Assembly constituency Anand Nyamgouda during an election rally in the constituency. (Courtesy: Twitter/INCKarnataka)

The State BJP's multi-pronged strategy to ensure the victory of party candidate Shrikant Kulkarni in Jamakhandi assembly bypolls did not work in favour. Anand Nyamagouda of the Congress won by a comfortable margin of 39,000 votes defeating Kulkarni in the constituency.

The BJP was keen to wrest the constituency nestled in Bagalkot district from the Congress. Party State President B S Yeddyurappa had taken a personal interest in the segment.

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The bypolls were necessitated following the demise of sitting MLA Siddu Nyamagouda. Anand is Nyamagouda’s son.

The BJP is tried to counter the sympathy factor in favour of Anand by consolidating the Lingayat votes and also quelling the internal rebellion in the constituency.

Kulkarni, a Brahmin, lost the May 2018 polls against Nyamagouda by a narrow margin of 2,900 votes. The defeat was mainly attributed to the candidature of former minister Murgesh Nirani’s brother Sangamesh.

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The Sangamesh Nirani, a Panchamashi Lingayat, was denied a ticket by the BJP and contested as a rebel. He managed to secure a substantial number of votes from the community, who are also in large numbers in the constituency. Sangamesh was subsequently expelled from the party.

Yeddyurappa recently revoked the expulsion of Sangamesh. But the voters have preferred Anand.

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