Soumya Reddy set to foil Vijay Kumar's chances at victory

Soumya Reddy set to foil Vijay Kumar's chances at victory

A stroll down Jayanagar’s streets with its huge trees, still gives the feel of old Bengaluru.

The poll battle in this Assembly constituency takes us back to the late 80s, where former MLA from Jayanagar, Ramalinga Reddy from the Congress, had remained undefeated till he moved to BTM Layout post delimitation of the Assembly segments in 2008.

Now, after almost a decade, Ramalinga has made a come back of sorts. It’s his daughter Soumya Reddy, an office bearer of the Bangalore City Youth Congress Committee, who could pose a formidable challenge to sitting MLA from the BJP, B N Vijay Kumar, who is hoping to bag a hat-trick of victories.

From 1989 to 2004, Ramalinga represented Jayanagar, humbling his rivals, including Kumar. It is only after Ramalinga moved to BTM Layout that rival parties wrested it from the Congress.

Most parts of Jayanagar comprise educated middle-class, and power, water and infrastructure are not much of a problem. The arrival of the Metro Green Line last year has provided good connectivity. Most parts the constituency are lit with LED lights and CCTV cameras are set to be installed soon for women’s safety.

There are five wards in the Jayanagar Assembly segment — Byrasandra, Gurappanapalya, JP Nagar East, Pattabhiramnagar and Shakambarinagar. While Kumar is banking on development over the years, Soumya is lending an ear to the new set of problems cropping up in the constituency ever since she began campaigning early this year. “All these years, people have made a fair judgement because they know how the area has developed. The new breeze cannot replace the old charm,” Kumar said. 

Commercialisation and opening of illegal rooftop pubs are creeping in. “We don’t want our constituency to become another Indiranagar or Koramangala,” said Preethi Thimmayya, a resident.

Aging sewage pipes are another problem people are facing. “We have asked the BWSSB to replace the old sewage lines. When it got choked recently, I got it cleared myself,” said a resident of 9th Block.

There are 1.95 lakh voters in the constituency, with the Congress banking on SC/ST (25,000) and Muslim voters (53,000), and the BJP looking at the upper class consisting of Brahmins and Vokkaligas, who number around 30,000.

Ravikrishna Reddy, an independent candidate, is also in the fray

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