A ‘son’ rise in Varuna

Siddaramaiah’s son Yathindra wins by huge margin of 58,616

Published - May 15, 2018 10:23 pm IST - MYSURU

 A good start:  Yathindra Siddaramaiah celebrating his win in Mysuru on Tuesday.

A good start: Yathindra Siddaramaiah celebrating his win in Mysuru on Tuesday.

The victory of Yathindra, son of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, from Varuna constituency has catapulted a pathologist to the murky world of Indian politics.

His victory in Varuna was a foregone conclusion and only the margin of victory was to be ascertained. Mr. Yathindra won by polling 96,435 votes against his nearest rival T. Basavaraju of the BJP who secured 37,819 votes, the victory margin being 58,616 votes.

Varuna constituency was created in 2008 by hiving out a portion of the undivided Chamundeshwari constituency and merging it with Bannur Assembly segment, which was dissolved. In the two elections held since its creation (2008 and 2013), it elected Congress, which was represented by Mr. Siddaramaiah who vacated the seat and shifted to Chamundeshwari to pave way for his son’s political debut from a safe seat.

The results announced on Tuesday heralds a “son rise” in the victory of Mr. Yathindra, in what was described as a one-horse race in favour of the Congress. The constituency has emerged as a springboard to launch the political career of Mr. Yathindra who was reckoned to be a “reluctant politician” and took the plunge following the untimely demise in June 2016 of his brother Rakesh Siddaramaiah who was being groomed to enter politics.

Since the last 18 months, he was involved in mass contact programmes and ensured the completion of development works launched in the constituency which familiarised him to the local people. But in the run up to the elections, Varuna was tipped to witness a potential see-saw electoral battle but it became a non-starter following the refusal of the BJP to give ticket to Vijayendra, son of BJP State president B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Varuna had emerged as high-profile constituency given the high stakes and stiff contest expected following Mr. Vijayendra’s entry. And given the polarisation of voters along caste lines and the presence of a sizeable Lingayat-Veerashaiva voters in the Assembly segment, Mr. Vijayendra had upset the Congress calculations which became jittery given the public response to him.

But the battle of the rising sons was over before it got started as the BJP put all brakes on Mr. Yathindra’s chariot by denying him ticket which saw the party workers take to the streets and the BJP fielded a relatively unknown candidate in T. Basavaraju.

The BJP’s decision to deny Mr. Vijayendra a ticket may have proved counterproductive to the party in the region where the party made a dent in the Congress citadel by winning 3 out of 11 seats. That the party also won in Gundlupet in Chamarajanagar has led to speculations that the BJP may have garnered additional seats and could have come closer to constitute the government but for the Vijayendra incident.

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