BENGALURU: The Big Three have quietly started working at the ground level in Sira constituency. The seat fell vacant after the death of JDS MLA B Sathyanarayana recently.
The leaders of all three parties have started meeting local leaders in Sira and groups of visitors at their respective residences have increased manifold over the past week, coronavirus notwithstanding.
The deceased MLA’s son, B S Sathya Prakash who was president of the Taluk Panchayat, has emerged the front runner in the JDS while former minister T B Jayachandra is a strong contender in the Congress.
It looks like BJP may retain S R Gowda although he managed to get less than 17,000 votes in the last poll. This is because by-polls tend to favour the ruling party.
Last week, Deputy CM C N Ashwath Narayan and Law Minister J C Madhuswamy visited Sathyanarayana’s residence and comforted the family.
They also told the family, “We are with you,’’ a statement whose political overtones cannot be missed.
The meeting assumes significance because the BJP is seeking to increase its footprint in the Old Mysuru areas like Tumakuru.
Asked if there was any invitation from the BJP, Sathyaprakash told TNIE, “Party leaders Deve Gowda and H D Kumaraswamy have assured us all support. Only when one is denied rightful opportunities does such a question arise.’’
Congress’ Jayachandra who won in 2008 and 2013 elections by almost a 25,000 vote margin against Sathyanarayana, will be a strong contender considering that he had represented this constituency in the past.
Congress also has started reminding the voters that they have carried out major developmental works here to the tune of over Rs 200 crore.
When contacted, Jayachandra said it is for the party to decide. As for JDS, party patriarch Deve Gowda and his son and former CM Kumaraswamy will get all the necessary information from ground zero before finally choosing a candidate.
The party, which has been hit by desertions, the largest for any political party in Karnataka, would go with winnability considering Satya Prakash may have the advantage of the ‘sympathy factor’.
There is speculation in the BJP if it will ‘para drop’ some candidates like it did for the LS elections and more recently in the Council polls. However, everything will depend on the caste factor.
The largest community there is Vokkaligas, but there is a large presence of SCs and Yadavas and fairly good numbers of minorities and Kurubas.
For the BJP, here is its big opportunity to increase their numbers in the assembly.