JD(S) seeks to foil Somashekar's hat-trick bid in Y'Pur

Chief Minester B S Yeddyurappa campaigning for Yeshwanthpura constituency Bjp candidate S T Somashekar. (DH file photo)

Buoyed by the high decibel campaign and a successful campaign trail in almost all assembly constituencies, the ruling BJP has a formidable task to accomplish at the Yeshwantpur.

Unlike other constituencies where two national parties - the BJP and the Congress have locked horns, Yeshwantpur, the second largest Assembly segment in Bengaluru, is witnessing a fierce battle between the BJP and the JD(S). The poll narrative by the party leaders has also seemingly veered off from 'development' to 'caste' paving way for a noisy fight between two powerful Vokkaliga leaders.

Losing bitterly to the Congress twice in the previous polls, the BJP, in a changed political scenario, has a chance to reclaim the constituency. But what seems to have scuttled its prospects is the phenomenal rise of the JD(S) clout in the Vokkaliga stronghold.

In fact, JD(S) candidate T N Javaraye Gowda, who lost twice against former Congress MLA and present BJP candidate S T Somashekhar, is pinning his hopes on the consolidation of the same Vokkaliga community votes along with the 'sympathy' factor. Aware of the possible influence, the saffron brigade too has staked its claim on the similar lines by fielding all its popular and influential Vokkaliga leaders to woo and influence the voters.

Contrary to the urban populace that forms most of the electorate in many constituencies, Yeshwantpur has a mix of urban and rural population with five BBMP wards and 17 village panchayats in south and western Bengaluru. As a result, the poll arena is dotted with wide range of issues.

While the rural population, along the periphery of the constituency, has been protesting against the dumping and processing of Bengaluru's garbage, the BBMP areas have been fighting for better infrastructure. Determined to win the seat, BJP's popular Vokkaliga leaders R Ashoka, Shobha Karandlaje and actor-turned-politician Jaggesh have been actively taking part in the campaign.

While voters acknowledge the hard work of previous MLA Somashekhar, many have expressed critical opinion over his decision to change the parties. At the same time, people are sympathetic to Javaraye Gowda but skeptical about the possible outcome later considering ruling party equation as it may cast dark spell on developmental works. Yet, Gowda is assuring people that he would go all out to address the burgeoning garbage crisis and make Yeshwantpur a model constituency.

The BJP leaders too are not behind in their assurances as they have been promising facilities ranging from Cauvery water to last-mile connectivity.

Winning the seat twice, the Congress is also equally hopeful of retaining its seat regardless of the 'backstabbing' by their disqualified MLA and fielded a local leader P Nagaraj. However, the steady door-to-door campaign at the grassroots level by Congress leaders seems to have been eclipsed by the high decibel campaign by national parties.  

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