BENGALURU: Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday kick-started his bypoll campaign from Hoskote by launching a scathing attack on the opposition Congress and exuding confidence of winning the elections with a big margin.
“Winning Hoskote is an issue of prestige for us,” the CM said while addressing party workers after a roadshow attended by around 10,000 people. “We are confident of winning by a margin of 25,000 votes and M T B Nagaraj will become minister in our government,” the CM said in the constituency where the BJP is facing a stiff challenge from its rebel Sharath Bache Gowda, who is contesting as an independent candidate.
If Sharath fails to withdraw from the contest, the BJP may find itself in a tough situation due to possible consolidation of Vokkaliga votes in favour of the independent candidate supported by the JDS. In 2018, Sharath, who had contested as BJP candidate, had lost to M T B Nagaraj, who had contested on a Congress ticket, by a narrow margin. The CM sounded confident of Nagaraj’s victory. “The opposition parties should note that Nagaraj will win with a big margin of 25,000 votes and he will become minister, let there be no doubt about it,” he said.
The voters will teach a befitting lesson to Sharath Bache Gowda, the CM said. Yediyurappa asked Sharath’s father and party MP BN Bache Gowda to campaign for Nagaraj or face action. The CM reiterated that Sharath would be expelled from the party and would not be taken back.
Launching a scathing attack on the opposition leaders, the CM said the Congress and the JDS leaders were responsible for the bypolls as they neglected legislators and their constituencies.
In the next two weeks, the CM will address campaign rallies in all 15 assembly constituencies as ensuring reelection of his party candidates is crucial for his government’s stability.