Desperate to win bypolls, BSY to launch campaign blitz

Desperate to win bypolls, BSY to launch campaign blitz

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who is under immense pressure to win the December 5 bypolls, has announced a campaign blitzkrieg that will see him cover all 15 assembly constituencies starting November 23. 

Yediyurappa, 76, needs to win at least 7-8 seats in order to secure a majority in the Assembly.

On November 23, Yediyurappa is scheduled to address rallies in Athani, Kagwad and Gokak constituencies in Belagavi district. The BJP is facing a rebellion in Kagwad and Gokak. BJP leader Raju Kage who lost the May 2018 assembly polls from Kagwad against Congress’ now-disqualified Shrimant Patil, has jumped ship to Congress. In Gokak, the BJP’s defeated candidate Ashok Pujary is contesting from the JD(S) against disqualified MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, against whom he lost last year. 

Yediyurappa will then visit Yellapur, Hirekerur and Ranebennur constituencies on November 24. At Ranebennur, disqualified legislator R Shankar demanded the ticket, but he was convinced to become a member of the Legislative Council and a minister later. Shankar’s supporters, however, are unhappy. The BJP has fielded Arunkumar Pujar instead of Shankar.

On November 25, the CM will campaign in Vijayanagar (Hospet), KR Pet and Hunsur. The next day, he will be in Chikballapur, Yeshwanthpur and Shivajinagar. 

On November 27, the CM will cover Hoskote, KR Puram and Mahalakshmi Layout. The BJP faces a tough battle in Hoskote, where its leader Sharath Bachegowda has rebelled and is contesting as an independent against the party’s MTB Nagaraj, the disqualified MLA. 

He will head to Hunsur, Yellapur and Hikererur again on November 28, followed by Ranebennur and Hospet on November 29. On November 30, Yediyurappa will campaign in Yeshwanthpur and Mahalakshmi Layout. 

On December 1, the CM will again visit Hoskote, KR Pet and Shivajinagar. He will move up north again on December 2 to Gokak, Athani and Kagwad, and his blitz will conclude at Athani and Kagwad on December 3.

The 15 constituencies go to the polls on December 5 and the results will be out December 9. As many as 218 candidates are in the fray. 

Winning enough seats in the bypolls is so crucial for Yediyurappa that he is said to have become emotional during a discussion with his Cabinet colleagues on Wednesday. “Let this not be our last Cabinet meeting,” he reportedly said, exhorting them to give it everything they have to win the bypolls.