Will the popularity of the former and late Union minister, Ananth Kumar drive these elections in Bengaluru South or will the young, untested BJP candidate, Tejaswi Surya find things difficult, in your view?
Ananth Kumar won from the constituency six times and by over two lakh votes against the richest candidate in 2014, Nandan Nilekani. As the JD(S) candidate polled only 25,000 votes then, this is a safe constituency for the BJP even against the new coalition.
But it’s unclear whether this support was for the BJP or Mr Ananth Kumar.
Unless Mrs Tejaswini Ananth Kumar actively campaigns against the new candidate one may assume that the BJP will win comfortably here.
Will the national issues like Ra fale, national security, the agra rian crisis and unemployment have any impact on the state?
In all surveys unemployment and the agrarian crisis are identified as key issues by voters. But it’s likely that national security and corruption will have greater effect in urban constituencies. With growing media exposure such issues may shape rural voting as well. But the 1971 war didn’t help the Congress in 1977, though some suggest that Kargil prevented further losses for the BJP in 1998. So unless there is massive mobilisation around the recent border skirmishes, it is unlikely to shape outcomes in Karnataka.
Do you think the 28-year old BJP candidate can bank on the support of first time voters, or can B K Hariprasad of the Con gress give him a tough fight?
I don't think that the age of the candidate has a direct bearing on how first time voters will cast their ballot. In 2014 Mr Modi, the older leader, won more youth votes than Mr Rahul Gandhi. Mr Hari prasad is a political veteran with a base in the state and constituency. He will need all that experience and ground knowledge to turn a significant chunk of voters his way. If Mr Surya manages to keep the BJP-RSS workers on his side he should record an easy victory.
Sudhir Krishnaswamy, professor, School of Policy and Governance, Azim Premji University (APU)...