Karnataka polls: BL Santhosh out to ruin Siddaramaiah's party in Kolar

BJP has a small presence in Kolar and its 2019 candidate managed to win only 6.96 per cent of votes.

Published: 21st January 2023 06:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2023 06:32 AM   |  A+A-

BJP national general secretary BL Santhosh

BJP national general secretary BL Santhosh (File photo | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Kolar is now the new battleground of Assembly polls after Opposition leader Siddaramaiah recently expressed interest to contest from here. Now, BJP national General secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh has shifted his focus on the constituency, despite having had to work on the polls in nine other states this year. Santhosh’s visit and his meeting with BJP-RSS cadres in Kolar to get a first-hand ground report has caused much concern among Congress leaders, who are planning an effective counter-strategy.

BJP has a small presence in Kolar and its 2019 candidate managed to win only 6.96 per cent of votes. In 2013, BJP’s vote share was just .99 per cent and the party candidate won just 1,617 votes. The shockingly low figures were because that year senior leader BS Yediyurappa had broken away from BJP and floated his own KJP. In the 2008 election, BJP won around 5,600 votes, which amounted to 4.47 per cent of votes.
But it has not been a smooth run for Congress either, as it managed 21.5 per cent of votes in 2018 and 36.8 per cent in 2008.

Experts said that Varthur Prakash, who won as an independent here in 2008 and managed to get 35,500 votes in 2018, could be a headache for Congress if he contests. The big worry for Congress would be to neutralise the influence of Prakash among backward classes, especially Kurubas.

While BJP may not be able to defeat Congress, it could join hands with the common enemy of Siddaramaiah, JDS, to dent the prospects of the opposition party. JDS won the election here in 2018 by garnering around 46 per cent of votes, while it managed 30.8 per cent in 2013.

Congress sources, however, said the party would fight the elections as a team and it has formed a team of senior leaders and former ministers, whose names have been kept under wraps for strategic reasons, to win the crucial election. This is probably the first time that the Kolar constituency has garnered such political attention.


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