Hubballi: The Congress may believe that it can ride to victory in Jamkhandi on the sympathy wave following the tragic death of party MLA Siddu Nyamegouda but it’s not going to be an easy victory for his son Anand Nyamegouda after the BJP persuaded rebel leader, Sangamesh Nirani, to support its candidate, Shirkant Kulkarni.
But sources say the Congress still continues to enjoy an edge over the Bharatiya Janata Party in the constituency as it heads for Saturday’s bypoll. Although the BJP has managed to quell the dissidence in its ranks, it will be an uphill task for the party to win the seat as the Congress candidate, Anand Nyamagoudar has the sympathy factor in his favour. It was his father’s sudden death, which has given rise to the bypoll and the Congress, by choosing him to contest it, is clearly hoping to play on people’s emotions.
The caste factor too could help Mr Nyamagoudar as he is from the Ganiga Lingayat community, which forms a large chunk of the constituency’s voters. With the Congress banking heavily on Kuruba voters as well, former Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah has already toured the constituency extensively to keep his community’s votes intact. Congress leaders, C M Ibrahim and Zameer Ahmed have also held conventions here to influence the Muslim voters.
The Congress enjoys good support in Jamkhandi town too , where it got a majority in the recently held elections to the city municipal council. Moreover, the party has managed to resolve the dissidence in its ranks by successfully getting the rebel candidates to withdraw from the fray.
The BJP, on the other hand, has a challenge on its hands as although Mr Sangamesh Nirani, who had won nearly 25,000 votes in the last assembly election as a rebel, has offered to support its candidate, his loyalists are unlikely to back him....