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BJP looks to outdo KR Pet performance in Sira bypoll

Party appoints eight in-charges to cater to caste and local cadre equations
 

Published: 03rd October 2020 05:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd October 2020 05:09 AM   |  A+A-

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa offers floral tributes to a portrait of Mahtama Gandhi at the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru on Friday | Express

Express News Service

BENGALURU: By deploying eight in-charges to manage the by-election to the Sira Assembly constituency, the BJP has made no secret of its priority. Having never won in Sira, the party hopes to continue its expansion streak by not just winning Sira but securing the constituency — that has always chosen candidates between Congress and JDS — for elections to come. The eight in-charges for Sira — two of whom are Deputy Chief Ministers — have been picked carefully to balance out the caste and cadre appeasement strategies. 

SC leaders DCM Govind Karjol, State General Secretary N Ravi Kumar, MP A Narayanaswamy, MLA Poornima Srinivas — a prominent voice of the Kadugolla community, Thippeswamy, OBC leader MP PC Mohan, Vokkaliga leader DCM Dr C N Ashwath Narayan and Lingayat face state party vice-president B Y Vijayendra have been carefully picked for an individualistic approach to voters — dominantly Vokkaliga and Golla (SC) communities in the constituency. “There is a good trend in favour of the BJP. We being in government is an advantage, but more importantly, the party has never won in Sira. We have already visited more than 250 booths and all we are asking for is one chance for BJP,” said Ravi Kumar. The BJP has so far played the cards right, by setting up a Kadugolla development board to appeal to the community and leaning towards a Vokkaliga candidate to draw support of the dominant community. 

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Congress had polled 63,490 votes, while BJP managed 42,465. But in the 2019 LS polls, the BJP polled 79,503 votes, while Congress garnered 67,937 in Sira that falls under the Chitradurga Parliamentary constituency. The shift in loyalties in the 2019 polls also had to do with JDS and Congress compelling their cadres — who have been political rivals for decades — to work together for a common candidate. 

Much like how it pulled off KR Pet, the BJP has planned an elaborate door-to-door, page level, ward level, corner level, block-level inverted triangle approach to the Sira bypoll. But unlike KR Pete, the party does not face a problem of local cadre in Sira, given that it has four MLAs from neighbouring seats and a constantly rising ground presence. Of the 11 assembly constituencies in Tumakuru, the BJP has four seats, the Congress three and JDS three. The BJP is banking on being in the government, promise of development, a new face as candidate and the newbies among the JDS and Congress cadre to fuel its election campaign. 



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