BJP hands over Mandya to JD(S), Old Mysuru challenge for NDA : The Tribune India

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BJP hands over Mandya to JD(S), Old Mysuru challenge for NDA

BJP hands over Mandya to JD(S), Old Mysuru challenge for NDA

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Aksheev Thakur

New Delhi, March 24

The BJP has given three seats to JD(S) in Karnataka — Hassan, Kolar and Mandya. Mandya, which was a bone of contention between the alliance partners, has finally been ceded to JD(S). However, the road remains a challenge for the NDA. JD(S) state president HD Kumaraswamy is likely to contest from Mandya, but a formal announcement is yet to be made.

Caste Arithmetic

  • JD(S) has relied on Vokkaliga support and coalitions with the Muslims
  • The Congress has banked on its AHINDA (OBCs, Dalits, and Muslims) base
  • In 2019, of the 28 constituencies in Karnataka, the Congress and JD(S) won one seat each in the Old Mysore region

As the JD(S) in alliance with BJP tries to gain a foothold in Old Mysore region, the Congress, riding high after its victory in 2023 Karnataka assembly polls, is confident of consolidating the gains. The region is dominated by 40 per cent Vokkaliga population.

Although traditionally Old Mysuru region has been a stronghold of JD(S), in the 2023 state polls the Congress won 37 out of 59 assembly segments in the region, while JD(S) tally came down to 14 from 29 in 2018. The BJP was down to six from nine.

The Congress believes that its welfare schemes, which include 200 units of free electricity to every household, Rs 2,000 to women household heads in the BPL category, 10-kg rice to each person in the BPL category, a dole of Rs 3,000 and Rs 1,500 for unemployed graduates and diploma holders, respectively, and free travel for women in public transport buses, will give them an edge over BJP-JD(S) in the state. While the JD(S) has relied on Vokkaliga support and coalitions with Muslims, the Congress has banked on its AHINDA (OBCs, Dalits, and Muslims) base.

In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, of the 28 constituencies in Karnataka, the Congress and JD(S) won one seat each in the Old Mysore region - Bangalore Rural and Hassan, respectively, while the Mandya seat went to an Independent backed by the BJP.

This year, Dr CN Manjunath, son-in-law of former PM Deve Gowda, will contest on a BJP ticket from Bangalore Rural against sitting Congress MP DK Suresh, younger brother of DK Shivakumar.

Sumalatha Ambareesh, who won from Mandya in 2019 as an Independent with BJP’s backing, had earlier suggested that the BJP should retain the Mandya seat. “It will send a positive signal to the Old Mysore region,” she said. She had defeated Kumarswamy’s son, Nikhil Kumaraswamy, in 2019.

Requesting anonymity, a Congress worker in the party’s research department said, “The Old Mysore region is important for us. We gained a strong foothold over the region in the assembly polls. We are hopeful of getting a significant chunk of Vokkaliga votes apart from consolidating our AHINDA base.”

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