The Shimoga Lok Sabha by-poll, which witnessed a clash among the sons of three former Chief Ministers – BY Raghavendra of the BJP, son of BS Yeddyurappa, Madhu Bangarappa of the JDS, son of the late S Bangarappa and Mahima Patel of the JDU, son of late JH Patel. The by-poll was imposed after Yeddyurappa resigned as MP from Shimoga and won the Shikaripura assembly.
Shimoga is considered as the strongest fort of BJP in Karnataka and former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa also holds a massive support in the constituency, as he belongs to Lingayata community, which is present in the considerable amount in the Shivamogga district. However, since from the declaration of by-polls in Karnataka, a tough fight was evident between Raghavendra and Madhu, where Yeddyurappa’s won the Shimoga Lok Sabha seat by 47,000 votes defeating his nearest competitor Madhu Bangarappa of the JDS. Since JDS and Congress Madhu Bagarappa, there was a speculation that Edigas are likely to vote for JDS-Congress alliance and a neck to neck competition was predicted.
According to sources, there are over 2.8 lakh Lingayatas, 2 lakh Edigas, 2.5 lakh Dalits, 1.5 lakh Brahmins, 1.2 lakh Muslims and over 60,000 Kurubas in the Shivamogga district.
Reasons behind BJP’s victory
Raghvendra has the support at the grassroots level and holds cordial relation with everyone in the constituency. He regularly tours various parts of the district to take stock of the situation and address the issues of farmers. People like him and one of the reasons why it was easier for Raghavendra was because his father worked hard in the 1970s and 1980s for the upliftment of farmers, sources claimed.
Although Congress and JDS have evolved some positive outcomes after the by-polls, the alliance created a tough battle for BJP’s within its traditional vote bank.