Bengaluru: Bypoll - in defeat, BJP has a brighter side to cheer in Mandya

Daijiworld Media Network - Bengaluru (SP)

Bengaluru, Nov 8: In the battle of bypoll between coalition partners, Congress and JD(S) with BJP, the coalition came up trumps. For BJP, it was a bitter drubbing at the hustings. However, the saffron party has reason to celebrate as it could take its tally of votes in Mandya Lok Sabha constituency from 86,993 votes in 2014 to 2, 44,377 this year, which is almost a three-fold increase in terms of votes polled.

The party also has another plus point as its vote base has increased in pockets where Raitha Sangha had solid ground.

Shivarame Gowda from JDS (right) being greeted by Dr Siddaramaiah (left) and minister D C Thammanna

Defeated BJP candidate, Dr Siddaramaiah, is elated at this feat. He did not try to hide his glee and distributed sweets to party workers for making it possible to reach this level. It is said that BJP had expected to get 1.25 lac votes in this Vokkaliga-dominated constituency where caste factor reigns supreme.

BJP had asked former deputy chief minister, R Ashok, a Vokkaliga himself, and MLC, Ashwathanarayana Gowda, to contest from Mandya Lok Sabha constituency. However, they were not confident enough. Therefore, it selected Dr Siddaramaiah, a former revenue officer and son of a former Mandya MLA, as its candidate here. Dr Siddaramaiah, in spite of being fresher to politics, has proved his mettle at his first try.

Dr Siddaramaiah travelled to the length and breadth of the constituency and moved with the people. He has friendly relationship with everyone including leaders of other parties. Dr Siddaramaiah mostly managed the entire electioneering alone although Ashok and Ashwathanarayana also supported him, with Yeddyurappa touring the constituency only once.

The message that BJP could make inroads into a constituency where it was not a power to reckon with in the past, and where Congress and JD(S) were fighting together this time, has sounded warning bells among the other two parties. The leaders have noted that the voters are slowly tilting towards BJP, a phenomenon not seen in the previous elections.

It is said that BJP leadership may field Dr Siddaramaiah again in the next year's Lok Sabha election if JD(S) chooses to field Kumaraswamy's son, Nikhil Kumaraswamy or any other candidate who is not well-established in this constituency.