With strong anti-incumbency fueled by a wave of corruption allegations in Karnataka, the BJP is now banking on Prime Minister Modi’s popularity in hopes of winning votes in Mandya – the region that has been the stronghold of its rival Janata Dal (secular ) or JDS for the election later this year.
Mandya is one of the nine districts of Old Mysore region which includes Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Ramanagara, Bengaluru Rural, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru and Hassan districts.
The Old Mysore Region, with 61 meeting seats, is a stronghold of the JDS. Congress has also been a major force in the area.
In 2018, the BJP performed exceptionally well in coastal Karnataka and Mumbai-Karnataka regions. However, it did not have a clear majority in parts of the ancient Mysuru region and the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.
The BJP marked the Vijay Sankalp Yatra, the first of the four planned yatras in the four corners of the state, from the meeting place in Chamarajanagar. And now Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold his second roadshow in Mandya, which has seven constituencies, ahead of the 2023 elections.
In the previous elections in 2018, JDS won all seven constituencies in the heart of Vokkaliga – Mandya. However, the following year in 2019, Narayana Gowda, who won the JDS ticket from KR Pet constituency, defected to the BJP and won the 2019 by-election polls, giving the BJP its first-ever victory in the JDS bastion. The BJP is now courting voters with infrastructure development, hoping to turn that into votes.
While someone may have defected from the JDS to the BJP in 2019, the BJP is hoping for winable candidates from the JDS and Congress to join its fold before the election as it seeks big faces.
Reliable sources within the BJP tell NewsMadura that “just before the election, when the list of candidates is finalized, about eight to ten winnable candidates from JDS and Congress will be brought to the BJP and deployed from Mandya, Mysuru and Chamarajanagar constituencies We also count on Sumalatha’s popularity to consolidate the vote. The central minister will be appointed to oversee polling strategies in the old Mysuru region.”