BENGALURU: The demolition drive by the Congress-led state government and sympathy factor helped BJP candidate Sarala Mahesh Babu win the bypoll from BBMP’s Lakkasandra ward. She won with a margin of 2,414 votes against Congress candidate B Mohan.
Lakkasandra ward has over 28,000 voters. Sunday’s election witnessed 45 per cent voting. Sarala got 7,638 votes, followed by Mohan who got 5,224 votes while JD(S) candidate Parveez Ahmed polled just 127 votes.
The councillor’s post became vacant after the then councillor Mahesh Babu died in a road accident in July. His wife Sarala Mahesh Babu then got the BJP ticket.
Lakkasandra is one of the eight wards in BTM Layout, represented in the assembly by Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy. Of the eight wards, five are represented by Congress councillors, including former mayor B N Manjunath Reddy. Chief Minister Siddaramiah’s city rounds and Bengaluru Development Minister K J George conducting several inspections did not work in their favour. The BBMP Council, which has a Mayor from the Congress, also did not work for the party.
A senior Congress member in the council said they were expecting the party candidate to win. “It is a Congress belt and everything was in our favour. We did the ground work but the demolition drive by the state government gave us a jolt. It was completely an anti-Congress initiative,’’ he said.
He added that sympathy votes for the BJP candidate also said worked against it. Ramalinga Reddy also said said BJP won due to sympathy. “The ward was represented by a BJP candidate and it went to BJP. It is not like the ward was represented by Congress went to BJP. One need not say that this is indicative of the coming Assembly elections,’’ he said. Opposition leader in the BBMP Council, Padmanabha Reddy said the people are against state government’s steel bridge proposal and the demolition drive. “This is indicative of the Congress losing its base in Karnataka and Bengaluru in the coming days,’’ he said.