Ramanagar: If you are not aware that the constituency is heading for a by-election, it is hard to tell in Ramanagara. Once bitter rivals, Congress and JD(S) workers surface together when their leaders arrive for campaigning and you occasionally come across a vehicle bearing a BJP flag.
Otherwise, life goes on as usual in this assembly constituency although there are only a few days to go for the November 3 bypoll that has been necessitated after Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy retained Channapatna and resigned from the Ramanagara seat after the assembly election.
While people here seem to have no doubt that Ms Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of the chief minister will win the bypoll hands down, the campaigning by the coalition partners seems more intense than that of the BJP. They don’t seem to be resting on their laurels despite the JD(S) polling 92,626 votes and the Congress, 69, 990 in the May assembly poll when the BJP had to be satisfied with a mere 4,871 votes.
The only worry in the JD(S) camp is that Mr Kumaraswamy’s margin of victory fell to around 23,000 votes in May from over 40,000 in the 2013 assembly poll. It appears the Muslims deserted the JD(S) in 2018 although the Congress did not field a strong candidate against it. Besides Muslims, there are pro-Congress voters in the constituency, who may not take kindly towards the JD(S) either.
But coming to the aid of the JD(S) are the DK brothers Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar and MP, D.K. Suresh, who traditionally fought the Deve Gowda family in the district for over three decades and are now on the same side.
The common enemy of both the JD(S) and the Congress is former BJP minister C.P. Yogeshwar who has donned the armour for saffron party candidate Dr Siddaramaiah. He obviously has a score to settle with the JD(S) and the Kumaraswamys after losing to the CM in Chennapatna.
But there are factors working against the JD(S) some Congress workers are still refusing to campaign for it and are taking a neutral stand in the elections. The BJP too could poll more votes this time, according to the coalition partners themselves , who believe that even if it wins around 25000 votes, it could prove a big morale boost for the party, which is struggling to find a foothold in the constituency.
As per simple arithmetic, Ms Anitha Kumaraswamy is sure to win. “There is nothing called an election here. It is a one-sided affair. But, we cannot sit and rest at home, just because we feel it will be an easy victory. We have to do our work,'' said Mahalakshmi layout MLA Mr Gopalaiah, who is overseeing the campaign for the JD(S) in Ramanagara.
JD(S) General Secretary Mr C Suresh Babu says that both the Congress and JD(S) are determined to foil the BJP’s attempts to gain a foothold in Ramanagara as they are coalition partners. “In the long run, they (BJP) may become a problem. We have to check and stop them where they are. If they get more votes, it will boost their morale,'' he said.c...