Pramod Mellegatti

Raghavendra defeats Bangarappa by 52,893 votes

Raghavendra polled 4,82,783 votes

Contest in Shimoga was largely viewed as a fight between Yeddyurappa and Bangarappa

SHIMOGA: Bharatiya Janata Party candidate B.Y. Raghavendra, the elder son of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, registered a resounding victory in the Lok Sabha election from Shimoga constituency by defeating his nearest rival former Chief Minister S. Bangarappa of the Congress here on Saturday.

Mr. Raghavendra has emerged as a “giant killer” by humbling Mr. Bangarappa, one of the senior politicians in the State.

BJP leaders were expecting Mr. Raghavendra’s victory from the day he was declared the official candidate. However, what has come as a disappointment to the party leaders is the victory margin which is much below their expectation. They were expecting that Mr. Raghavendra would win by a margin of at least one lakh votes. However, he won by a margin of 52,893 votes.

While Mr. Raghavendra polled 4,82,783 votes, Mr. Bangarappa polled 4,29,890 votes.

Though it was a fight between a greenhorn and a veteran, it was largely viewed as a fight between the Chief Minister and a former Chief Minister.

Big stake

Mr. Yeddyurappa had a big stake in the contest here, having put his popularity to test by pitting his son against Mr. Bangarappa. At 36, Mr. Raghavendra is perhaps the youngest MP from Karnataka.

What consolidated Mr. Raghavendra’s fortunes was the systematic campaigning he took up from the day one. He highlighted issues such as “failure” of the UPA Government to meet people’s aspirations, “non-performance” of Mr. Bangarappa as the Shimoga MP and achievements of the BJP Government in the State.

While Mr. Raghavendra’s campaign was devoid of personal attacks, Mr. Bangarappa’s campaign was termed as “hate campaign” as it was marked by controversies following allegations levelled by him and his supporters in public meetings.

In one of his election meetings senior Congress leader Kagodu Thimmappa reportedly gave a call to chop off hands of those who practiced Hindutva. A criminal case was filed against him much to the embarrassment of Mr. Bangarappa.

Mr. Bangarappa’s another election meeting in Bhadravati ended in a fiasco as their was a clash between two groups of Congress workers following his out burst against local MLA B.K. Sangamesh.

Mr. Raghavendra claimed during his campaign that he was familiar with problems of the constituency and promised that he would rise to the expectations of people here. On the other hand, Mr. Bangarappa, who had launched a tirade against the BJP Government in general and Mr. Yeddyurappa in particular, never specified his plans for development of the constituency. Besides, Mr. Bangarappa’s poor health came in the way of taking up campaigning effectively. The launch of campaign by Mr. Bangarappa was delayed owing to dilly dallying by the Congress in admitting him into its fold and fielding him as its candidate.

Senate member

Mr. Raghavendra, a BBM graduate, has served as the member of the Senate of Kuvempu University. He entered politics by getting elected to the Town Municipal Council of Shikaripur, as his father did. He runs a string of educational institutions in Shikaripur. He is married to Tejaswini and has two sons.