It’s advantage Byrathi as BJP workers bury the hatchet

Byarthi Basavaraj

Caught in the pincer to choose between the ‘party’ and ‘person’, the bypoll to the Krishnarajapura (KR Pura) Assembly constituency in eastern Bengaluru has whipped up intense curiosity in the state’s political circles.

Known for fierce battle between the Congress and the saffron brigade, the constituency had been the strong bastion of Congress over the years.

But in a changed scenario, the disqualified MLA Byrathi Basavaraj, who had won the seat on Congress ticket, is currently testing his luck as a BJP candidate. Having represented the constituency twice, Byrathi had put the Congress in a strong position in the region by helping the party clinch many seats/posts in the local bodies. However, the bypoll has left the party seemingly divided and forcing its workers to choose between the ‘party’ and ‘person’.

While most of the supporters have reportedly stayed back with ‘person’, the party (Congress) is doing its best to turn around the scenario by playing the ‘loyalty’ card and trying to keep it flock together despite the untimely turbulation. Fighting the ‘atrocities’ of Congress leaders, the local BJP leaders had always locked horns with each other and resorted to violent fights in the past. But the same leaders, having buried their differences, are actively campaigning for Byrathi Basavaraj across the segment. In several areas both Byrathi Basavaraj and Nandiesha Reddy are seen together.

Quelling the initial dissidence within the party by offering suitable position to the original BJP ticket aspirants, the ruling BJP has been aggressively carrying out its campaign and hopes to win the seat at ease. Determined to win back the seat and reply the saffron party befittingly, the Congress has fielded M Narayanaswamy, an MLC. Despite the ‘split’ in the party, the leaders are confident of winning the seat back.

“Congress has contributed to the overall welfare of the constituency by carrying out various infrastructure works compared to BJP’s regime in 2008 to 2013. We are confident that the people will punish those who betrayed the party and repose their faith in the Congress. We have been going door-to-door appealing to voters and they have been supportive,” Muniswamy, a congress worker in KR Pura said.

Similarly, the BJP leaders, pointing towards their aggressive and high decibel campaigns, express that they will win with thumping majority. “What is promising is the support of several Congress leaders, including corporators, who have moved in with Byrathi Basavaraj. We have come over the initial differences with senior leaders taking all of us into confidence,” explained a BJP leader from Devasandra. 

The JD(S) has also thrown its gauntlet to both the national parties by fielding C Krishnamurthy as its candidate considering that the constituency has majority Vokkaliga and Kuruba voters. JD(S) leaders are hopeful of garnering the support from the Vokkaliga community and other minority voters.

 

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