Hubballi: With the Jamkhandi byelection due on November 3, both the Congress and BJP are focusing on appealing to people of all castes in the constituency to back them using the persuasive tactics of the leaders of these communities in their parties.
While the BJP is expected to rope in former MP, B Sriramulu to attract Valmiki and other scheduled caste votes as he has already displayed how good he is at this when contesting against former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Badami, the Congress reportedly plans to use the services of Mr Satish Jarkiholi to influence the over 5,000 Valmiki voters in Jamkhandi. The constituency is also home to nearly 30,000 scheduled caste and tribe voters.
Besides banking on the sympathy factor by fielding Mr Anand Nyamagoudar to take the place of his late father, Siddu Nyamagoudar, who represented the constituency, the Congress is hoping he will fetch it support among the 15,000 strong Ganiga-Lingayat community he belongs to. But the BJP claims that most of the 50,000 Lingayat voters in the constituency will back it angered by the Congress' designs to divide the community on the issue of an independent religious tag for it not so long ago.
Mr Siddaramaiah, who sees winning the byelection as a matter of prestige owing to Jamkhandi's proximity to his Badami constituency, has meanwhile, announced that he will campaign there for at least a week to woo the 20,800 voters from his Kuruba community.
The Congress and BJP are also doing their best to deal with the rebel factor to make sure it doesn't make a dent in their votebanks. While the BJP is almost certain to field Mr Shrikant Kulkarni from Jamkhandi, it may have a hard time convincing Mr Sangamesh Nirani, brother of its senior leader, Murugesh Nirani not to contest as a rebel as he did in the last assembly poll. Congress leaders , however, claim they have managed to persuade rebel candidate, Shrishail Dalawai to withdraw in support of Mr Anand Nyamagoudar....