It's BJP’s Saravana v/s Rizwan of Cong in Shivajinagar

M Saravana BJP candidate of Shivajinagar, Housing Minister V Somanna and Actor and Former MLA Jaggesh campaign at Shivajinagar in Bengaluru on Saturday, November 30, 2019. (DH Photo)

In a changed political scenario, the by-election to Shivajinagar Assembly constituency is expected to witness a straight fight between BJP’s Saravana and Rizwan Arshad of the Congress.  

Interestingly, former minister and disqualified MLA Roshan Baig, for the first time in his political career, spanning three-and-a-half decades, is not contesting from Shivajinagar. The Congress party showed Baig the door after he was questioned in the multi-crore IMA scam while the BJP refused to accommodate him into the party fold.

However, Baig’s departure from the Congress has opened up opportunities for the saffron brigade.

Determined to wrest the seat from the Congress, the BJP, eyeing Tamil votes, has fielded three-time corporator M Saravana. Baig’s unconditional support for Saravana will only do a world of good to the BJP. While the BJP is confident of pulling it off, the Congress is in no mood to concede the seat, where the minority voters hold the sway.

The grand old party has fielded MLC Rizwan Arshad, the blue-eyed-boy of former chief minister Siddaramaiah, who is yet to make a mark in electoral politics.

In Shivajinagar, the prestige and honour are at stake for the Congress and Siddaramaiah, while it is a question of survival for Roshan Baig, who is trying to afloat by supporting the BJP candidate. 

Rizwan had unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and 2019 from Bangalore Central constituency and is under pressure to prove his mettle, this time, and silence his detractors within the party.

Congress is hoping that the community voters, who’d lost huge sums in the IMA scam, would teach a lesson to a tainted leader, by supporting the grand old party. The party leaders claim that the 70,000-plus minority votes would either go the Congress way or remain neutral, along with the 25,000 Christian community votes, making it easy for the party to retain the seat.

Meanwhile, the JD(S), hoping to gain from the bitter struggle between the national parties, has set its eyes on the minority vote bank in the constituency by fielding Tanveer Ahmed.

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