Coalition candidate makes going tough for Sadananda

Coalition candidate makes going tough for Sadananda

Krishna Byre Gowda

The Vokkaliga-dominated Bangalore North parliamentary constituency is witnessing a keen contest between two Gowdas – Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda of the BJP and RDPR Minister Krishna Byre Gowda of the Congress-JD(S) alliance.

Gowda, who is also the sitting MP, had registered a comfortable victory riding the Modi wave in 2014. But this time he is facing a tough challenge from Krishna, who is not leaving any stone unturned to wrest the seat from his BJP rival. Like Gowda, Krishna, too, has a clean image, and he is also considered accessible to people.

Traditionally, the constituency was a Congress bastion. Party veteran C K Jaffer Sharief had represented it for seven times. The BJP’s victory ride began from 2004 and the attempts by the grand-old party to re-claim it have been in vain since then.

Krishna, who had been reluctant to contest the Lok Sabha elections, was the last-minute candidate of the coalition. Though the Congress had ceded the constituency to the JD(S) as per their seat-sharing agreement, JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda decided to hand it over to the Congress at the last moment, forcing Krishna to contest. In fact, Deve Gowda was initially planning to contest from the seat, but he later chose Tumkur.

Like all other constituencies, Sadananda Gowda is seeking votes to ensure the re-election of Modi as the prime minister. Gowda says he has contributed a lot to the development of the constituency and had recently rued his inability to publicise his work among the voters. In a recent campaign address, Gowda recalled how he had served as a link between the state and the Centre to ensure speedy execution of development works.

The campaign of the coalition is based on the “unavailability” of Sadananda Gowda in his constituency, apart from depicting him as an “outsider”. Some innovative campaign ideas executed by Krishna have also garnered him attention in comparison to his opponent. The coalition is also attempting to highlight the “failures” of the union government in its campaign.

The constituency, with 28.46 lakh votes, is dominated by members of Vokkaliga community and major parties have fielded candidates from the community since the delimitation of constituencies in 2008. In 2019, too, the two main candidates hail from the community. Kurubas and minorities also form a sizable chunk of the electorate in the constituency.

Considering the party-wise strength in the Assembly segments, the Congress appears to be in a good stead in the constituency – seven of the eight Assembly segments are held by the Congress and the JD(S). Gowda, however, dismissed it saying that voting patterns of the Assembly and the Lok Sabha elections are entirely different and claimed that the electorate will stand by Modi again.

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