Differences among senior BJP leaders crop up over ticket

Bangalore North Lok Sabha constituency has drawn public attention this time, mainly because of the tussle over the selection of candidates in the Bharatiya Janata Party, which at present holds this seat.

The BJP was in a spot of bother as two of its prominent leaders — former Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and former Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok — were competing with each other to get ticket for this seat after the party hinted that it was not in favour of D.B. Chandre Gowda, sitting MP, re-contesting the seat as he was getting on in years.

Spat

There was even a public spat as Mr. Sadananda Gowda’s detractors maintained that he should not be given ticket from Bangalore North as he is an outsider.

It took about three weeks for the party to resolve the issue, finally favouring Mr. Sadananda Gowda for the seat after Mr. Ashok opted out of the race. But even after the crisis, the big question that is haunting the BJP workers in this constituency is whether Mr. Sadananda Gowda would get the active support of prominent party leaders from Bangalore.

Such concern stems from the fact that the tussle over the party ticket has virtually brought to the fore the differences among the top leaders.

The Congress has a long list of aspirants that includes Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore’s professor and former Speaker M.V. Venkatappa’s son, Rajiv Gowda; former chairman of the Legislative Council B.L. Shankar; Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary G.C. Chandrashekhar; and former IPS officer K.C. Ramamurthy. In addition, a section of party leaders are also trying to convince Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda, who is well-known in this constituency, to contest.

Similarly, BBMP corporator A.M. Hanumanthe Gowda is among the frontrunners for the Janata Dal (Secular) ticket.

Of the eight Assembly segments coming under Bangalore North parliamentary seat, the Congress and the BJP have won three seats each, while the JD(S) has won two. As of now, it appears that the BJP and the Congress may slug it out, while the JD(S) has the potential to tilt the political balance.

This seat was once a bastion of the Congress till the BJP wrested it in 2004. The BJP will register a hat-trick if it wins the seat this time. But this is going to be a challenge for the BJP in the changed political circumstances marked by the return of the Congress to power in the State.

Real estate’s influence

Bangalore North constituency is made up of a heady mix of characteristics as its jurisdiction ranges from the areas which were newly added to the BBMP to the old parts of the city like Malleswaram. However, amid this diversity, what stands out is the powerful and booming real estate sector that has a huge influence on politics.