Karnataka bypolls: Congress money power defeated Srinivasaprasad, say supporters

V Srinivasaprasad has reportedly taken his defeat in the Nanjangud bypoll quite well.

Mysuru: He may have had to give up his dream of settling scores with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for dropping him from the state Cabinet, but former Minister, V Srinivasaprasad has reportedly taken his defeat in the Nanjangud bypoll quite well. His supporters, however, accuse the Congress government of raining money on the constituency to ensure his defeat.

“It was shocking news. But Mr Prasad is a seasoned politician and has taken it in the right spirit. We had warned him that Siddaramaiah too is a stubborn man and would do anything to win as it is a matter of prestige for him too and we have been proved right, ” they said.

Claiming that intelligence reports had favoured Mr Srinivasaprasad till April 7 , they said they were confident of victory as Lingayats and Dalits accounted for more than half the voters in Nanjangud. But then things changed after the Congress party distributed huge amounts of money in the last two days leading up to the elections, they alleged.

“It spent Rs 40 crore each in both constituencies and gave Rs 15,000 loans from various boards and commissions to around 15,000 to 20,000 voters. It also diverted projects costing Rs 500 crore to Nanjangud and at the ground level, deployed officers, who would work in its favour. To sum it up, it exploited both power and money to win. The Election Commission did not have strong evidence to cancel the elections as the officers in the field made sure there was none,” charged the loyalists, claiming that the former minister, however, got most of the Lingayat votes.

The BJP, meanwhile, seems to have taken the defeat in its stride as it has never won from these two constituencies in the old Mysuru region and appears satisfied that its vote share has increased significantly in both.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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