BENGALURU: Sowmya Reddy created a history of sorts on Wednesday when she won the Jayanagar assembly seat. For the very first time, a father-daughter duo will be colleagues in the Karnataka legislative assembly. With no senior party colleagues campaigning for Jayanagar polls, Ramalinga Reddy singlehandedly ensured that his daughter won back the seat-one which he had won four times before shifting to BTM layout seat. Sowmya Reddy’s victory was a through and through Ramalinga Reddy show with a clear show of strength not just to the BJP but also to his own party.
Jayanagar seat is a personal victory for Ramalinga Reddy- a former minister who has not been accommodated in the JD(S)-Congress coalition ministry. While many senior leaders of the Congress squabbled for berths post coalition, Reddy maintained his silence while concentrating on his daughter’s election. Winning the seat has now said more than he could have verbally.
With Jayanagar, the Congress’ tally in Karnataka climbs up one more to 79. (The party has won 80 seats but Jamkhandi seat has fallen vacant following the demise of newly elected MLA Siddu Nyamagouda). Winning Jayanagar also showcases the performance of Bengaluru Congress MLAs, including Reddy. The party has outdone itself in comparison to 2013 by winning 15 seats. Despite the maverick performance by Bengaluru MLAs, only three- K J George, Zameer Ahmed Khan and Krishna Byregowda have made it to the cabinet- a reason for grouse among other senior legislators. While sources close to Reddy suggested that he was unhappy over not being inducted into the ministry, he had stayed away from dissenting camps of Congress leaders keeping the Jayanagar elections in mind. Now, having proven his point to the party, Reddy is all set to stake a claim.
“A victory was definite. It is my old constituency and it was my responsibility to ensure that we win back the seat,” Reddy told the media after his daughter won the Jayanagar seat with 54,457 votes. He chose not to comment about ministries. Despite not a single senior Congress leader campaigning for Sowmya, Reddy ensured that his supporters and party workers brought home a thumping victory. “It was a matter of prestige for him. He had lobbied hard for the ticket against KPCC Chief Dr G Parameshwara’s candidate MC Venugopal- (who had lost to BJP’s B N Vijayakumar in 2013). He neither wanted anyone’s help nor did he get any,” said a close aide of Ramalinga Reddy. Sowmya registered a victory with a margin of 2,889 votes and full credits go to Ramalinga Reddy.