Shimoga bypoll: Battle of the sons

Shimoga bypoll: Battle of the sons

The Shimoga Lok Sabha bypolls is set to witness a clash between the sons of three former chief ministers – B Y Raghavendra of the BJP, son of B S Yeddyurappa; Madhu Bangarappa of the JD(S), son of the late S Bangarappa and Mahima Patel of the JD(U) ticket, son of the late J H Patel.

The Congress was allotted the Shimoga seat as per the poll pact with its alliance partner - the JD(S). However, the grand old party decided to hand it over to the JD(S) as it failed to find a strong candidate to take on the BJP. Madhu is seen as the best bet to take on the BJP.

The BJP has had a head start in the constituency, campaign and preparation wise, as it was more or less certain that Raghavendra would be the candidate after Yeddyurappa, who held the seat, vacated it in May 2018.

The bypoll was necessitated after Yeddyurappa resigned as its member after he contested and won the Shikaripura Assembly seat. The bypoll will be held on November 3.

Though the Congress was keen on fielding senior leaders Kimmane Ratnakar or Kagodu Thimmappa, the duo refused to contest the elections stating the remaining term was too short a period (eight months).

It is now all boiling down to a straight fight between Raghavendra and Madhu. Patel does not stand much of a chance, but he has filed his candidature with an appeal to voters to elect him stating that he is fighting the polls without any muscle or money power.

ALSO READ: LS bypolls semi-final to 2019 general elections: HDK
LS bypolls: pointless exercise

Ballari bypoll: A Sriramulu vs DKS contest

Yeddyurappa and his son have won the Shimoga seat amongst each other according to the political scenario and convenience.

In 2009, Yeddyurappa, the then chief minister, fielded Raghavendra against Bangarappa. Raghavendra won the seat on his debut. 

In 2013, Yeddyurappa broke away from the BJP to form the KJP. However, by the time of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he had rejoined the saffron fold. Yeddyurappa contested the 2014 Lok Sabha from Shimoga and won the seat by a margin of 3.6 lakh votes.

First for Madhu Bangarappa

It will be the first time that Madhu will be contesting the Lok Sabha polls. But electoral politics is not new to him. He became an MLA by defeating his brother Kumar Bangarappa from the Soraba Assembly seat in 2013. In a reversal of fortunes, Kumar defeated Madhu in the 2018 Assembly polls.

The BJP has already started campaigning for the polls, with Yeddyurappa and other leaders touring Hosanagara, Bhadravathi and Soraba segments. In 2018, the party won seven of the eight Assembly segments in the constituency.

It remains to be seen which of the alliance partners will fund the elections for Madhu. So far, leaders from both the parties are saying that they will launch a joint campaign soon.