Minorities hold considerable sway and that could tilt the scales in the poll outcome of Bangalore central, a constituency with a cosmopolitan character.
Carved out of Bangalore North and South Lok Sabha seats in the 2009 polls, the constituency has eight assembly segments with a mixture of upper and middle class voters. While BJP has retained Mohan, Congress has fielded its youth wing Chief Rizwan Arshad who is making his electoral debut after the party overruled the claim of former Railway Minister C K Jaffar Sharief, a seven-time MP.
Arshad is said to have been handpicked by Rahul Gandhi and a miffed Sharief has announced his resignation from Congress, cutting his more than six-decade long association with it. Sharief's exit is among the imponderables that could impact the prospects of the Congress candidate.
Dancer Nandini Alva will be contesting on JDS ticket
Balakrishnan's entry has spiced up the scene, as he gets the taste of the rough and tumble of politics in the electoral battleground. The other debutant is Nandini Alva, danseuse and wife of late former state minister Jeevraj Alva, who has jumped into the fray from the JDS.
Alva is also the mother-in-law of Hindi actor Vivek Oberoi. 50-year old Mohan made his parliamentary debut to the 15th Lok Sabha in 2009 after being an MLA from Chickpet constituency for two consecutive terms in 1999 and 2004. Compared to Mohan, all his opponents from the other three parties are having first brush with electoral politics.