Karnataka by-polls: Why the JD(S) victories in Ramanagara, Mandya should worry the Congress
Bengaluru, Nov 7: The alliance in Karnataka may have handed out a defeat to the BJP in the by-elections. The JD(S)-Congress combine won four seats as opposed to the one by the BJP.
While the alliance chemistry did work, the Congress would however not be entirely happy about the results in Ramanagara and Mandya.
Take the case of the Mandya elections. L R Shivarame Gowda of the JD(S) won the seat with 5,53374 votes. However the big surprise was the BJP's candidate, Dr. Siddaramaiah polling 2,44,377 votes. This is traditionally not a BJP belt, but the fact that its candidate polled over 2 lakh votes is a good sign for the party and a matter of worry for the Congress.
This means that there has been a massive transfer of votes to the BJP and it is a result of the ground level workers of the Congress expressing their unhappiness over a tie up with the JD(S). While at the top, the Congress and JD(S) have come together at the ground level, the workers still engage in rivalry. The rivalry was in fact escalated after the JD(S) had swept the Mandya polls in the May assembly elections.
Many local leaders from Mandya are unhappy with the alliance with the JD(S). Upset with the decision, M Honne Gowda had rebelled against the Congress. He polled 17,842 votes. On the other hand there 15,478 votes that we're polled in favour of NOTA.
The case for the Congress is similar in Ramanagara, the seat won by Anita Kumaraswamy, wife of Karnataka Chief Minister, H D Kumaraswamy. Anita managed to better her husband's tally and polled 1,25,043 votes. L Chandrashekhar of the BJP polled 15,906 votes. It may be recalled that he had switched over to the Congress two days before polling.
In the May assembly poll, the Congress candidate up against Kumaraswamy polled 69,990 votes. Kumaraswamy won the elections by a margin of just 22,636 votes. The fact that in the by-elections, Anita managed to win by such a huge margin has worried the local Congress leaders. They feel that the BJP and JD(S) had benefited from the decision of the Congress not fielding a candidate.