The incumbent MP, Ananth Kumar, is expected to get the Bharatiya Janata Party ticket and Infosys co-founder and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani, the Congress ticket
Unlike in other Lok Sabha constituencies, there are very few aspirants from the national parties seeking ticket to contest the general elections from Bangalore South constituency.
The incumbent MP, Ananth Kumar, is expected to get the Bharatiya Janata Party ticket and Infosys co-founder and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani, the Congress ticket. This will be the latter’s political debut. Both of them are into campaigning in their inimitable styles.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson and IIM-Bangalore professor Rajeev Gowda and businessman U.B. Venkatesh had initially shown interest to contest from the Congress. But both of them pulled out from the race when the party assured ticket to Mr. Nilekani, who is expected to join the Congress soon.
There are not many aspirants in the Janata Dal (Secular). The party is likely to field former cricketer Dodda Ganesh or T.N. Range Gowda, who lost the 2008 Assembly elections from Govindararajanagar constituency. The Aam Aadmi Party too is yet to decide its candidate.
The constituency that has a large number of IT firms and techies has attracted the attention of the entire country owing to the political presence of Mr. Nilekani. A high-profile poll battle is on the cards here as the campaign teams of both Mr. Nilekani and Mr. Ananth Kumar are set to explore various campaign modes, including the social media to reach out to urban voters.
In a move to end the initial resentment among some of the aspirants who describe him as a “newcomer as well as an outsider”, Mr. Nilekani has already held several rounds of interactions with Congress legislators, Congress block presidents and prominent leaders of various communities in the constituency in a bid to take them into confidence. Mr. Nilekani may be new to the constituency, but not to Bangalore.
Mr. Kumar has been participating in various foundation stone-laying programmes in the constituency in the last one month. The BJP leader is banking on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s image to reach out to the youth.
Of the eight assembly segments under Bangalore South parliamentary constituency, Congress and BJP have won four seats each in 2013 Assembly elections. Mr. Kumar has represented this parliamentary constituency since 1996, and the party has held this constituency since 1991.
In 2009, Mr. Kumar won narrowly by a margin of 4.24 per cent (margin of 37,000 votes).
It has been observed that Mr. Kumar’s vote-share has decreased over the years. The BJP general secretary’s vote-share in the 1999 polls was 53 per cent, dropping to 48.2 per cent in 2009.