Bengaluru: Disqualified legislator R. Roshan Baig's camp is upbeat following the low voter turnout in Shivajinagar, which it sees as an indication of Congress candidate Rizwan Arshad’s defeat in the constituency in Thursday's bypoll.
Baig loyalists argue that for the Congress party to win from Shivajinagar, it needs a turnout of over 54 per cent.
“This is the peculiarity of this constituency. Whenever Mr Baig contested from here, he ensured that the total voter turnout crossed this threshold. In 2018, the constituency registered 54.10 per cent polling, which ensured his victory against BJP's stalwart Katta Subramanya Naidu, who himself had won from here thrice when Mr Baig chose to contest from Jayamahal,” they recalled, pointing out that when Mr Arshad contested the recent Lok Sabha elections from the Shivajinagar parliamentary constituency, the voter turnout was 56.55 per cent, which ensured him a lead of no less than 15,000 votes.
“It is clear that Mr Baig holds sway over eight to ten per cent of votes in this constituency at any given point of time,” his supporters contended.
But Mr Arshad’s supporters dismissed this argument, saying that just over a five per cent decline in the voter turnout would not affect his chances, particularly as he was in a direct fight with the BJP this time. “Whenever, there is a direct fight, the Congress is able to pull off a win. In a direct fight one needs to secure nearly 24 per cent of the votes if the turnout is 48 per cent. Also the Congress has a base here, while no BJP leader except for Mr Naidu, has won elections from the constituency,” they noted.