Bengaluru: With Bangalore North Lok Sabha constituency back in the Congress kitty after the JD(S) backed off from fielding a candidate, the Congress moved swiftly to name emerging Vokkaliga face, Krishna Byre Gowda, as their candidate for the seat, late on Monday.
With Mr Byre Gowda's name being announced by none other than Congress Legislature Party leader, Siddaramaiah, it has set the stage for a high octane poll battle between the rural development and panchayat raj minister and the BJP's sitting MP and incumbent Union minister for planning and statistics, D. V. Sadananda Gowda, who is seeking re-election from the seat.
Mr Byre Gowda will file his nominations on Tuesday and former prime minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, is expected to accompany him along with senior Congress leaders.
Mr Byre Gowda has a key advantage over his rival and former chief minister in this constituency, as his own Assembly seat, Byatarayanapura, is part of this segment. In addition, the sect of Vokkaligas to which he belongs, constitute a significant part of the electorate while his late father's C Byre Gowda stellar contributions still lingers in the minds of voters.
Apart from this, Mr Krishna himself is popular among the young IT community and urban voters and millennials because of his presence on social media.
Although, Mr Byregowda's first outing as Congress Lok Sabha candidate against Bharatiya Janata Party strongman late H.N. Ananth Kumar in 2009 was not successful, he gave the late Mr Kumar a run for his money.
He also came out with a campaign to attract urban youth - Coffee with Krishna - which turned out be a big hit among IT crowd then.
Other than these factors, more importantly five out of eight constituencies are represented by Congress while two are represented by the Janata Dal (Secular) and of the 55 total BBMP wards, Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) together won 33 wards.
Hence, this seat ideally looks safe for the Congress candidate, provided all Congress leaders work unitedly. With the Janata Dal (Secular) leaders freeing the seat for the Congress only by Sunday midnight, the Congress homed in on Krishna Byre Gowda....