The much anticipated Karnataka by-polls, which provided a boost to incumbent JDS- Congress coalition. Bypolls in Bellary (ST) Lok Sabha constituency in Karnataka was held on Saturday and around 67 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the district. Earlier, it was speculated that, whoever wins, will win only after a tough fight.
However, JDS-Congress coalition was dominating in the area, from the very beginning of counting on Tuesday. According to sources, credits to DK Shivakumar who took the charge against the saffron party and accomplished the challenge single-handedly. DK Shivakumar is considered as the ‘master of politics’ in Karnataka and after Bellary gain, Shivakumar would influence upcoming electoral battles too, sources claimed.
Bellary Lok Sabha- A tough electoral battleground
Congress party, who holds a strong support in Bellary and has six legislators in the district out of eight constituencies, was leading with over 1 lakh votes in the early trends. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah’s close aide VS Ugrappa was the Congress-JD(S) candidate in Bellary against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strongman B Sriramulu’s sister and former MP J Shantha. Earlier, Sriramulu was representing Bellary constituency till May 2018.
According to sources, DK Shivakumar’s aggressive campaigning in the Bellary region is one of the major reasons for Congress lead and earlier, Reddy brothers have announced a war against JD(S)-Congress alliance, claiming that Bellary is their territory. DK Shivakumar was basically focusing on uniting the JDS and Congress workers, as VS Ugrappa was considered as an outsider in the party, sources claimed.
“People have given us a chance. They have seen the BJP in the parliament from the constituency for many years. They have seen the BJP government for some years now. They have seen the BJP government in coalition in the state. Now, they want to change,” said DK Shivakumar after the victory.
Another advantage Congress had this time, is that its candidate, VS Ugrappa, had the full support of the alliance partner, Janata Dal-Secular.
Ahead of Lok Sabha elections 2019, Bellary elections hold a massive national importance, as it is believed Bellary election would set the tone for massive General assembly elections especially in Southern India, where NDA government headed by PM Modi is declining day by day in terms of popularity among the voters. The term for the Bellary seat will be very short with the Lok Sabha elections due next year.