BJP has pitched ‘outsiders’ in Bengaluru North since 2004, and they have won

The constituency elected H. T. Sangliana from Mizoram in 2004, D. B. Chandre Gowda from Chikkamagaluru district in 2009, D. V. Sadananda Gowda from Dakshina Kannada district in 2014 and 2019, and this time Shobha Karandlaje, also from Dakshina Kannada, is in the fray from the BJP

April 20, 2024 01:33 pm | Updated April 21, 2024 06:39 am IST - Bengaluru

Union Minister & Bengaluru North BJP candidate Shobha Karandlaje launches campaign vehicles for the Lok Sabha elections, in Bengaluru on April 15, 2024.

Union Minister & Bengaluru North BJP candidate Shobha Karandlaje launches campaign vehicles for the Lok Sabha elections, in Bengaluru on April 15, 2024. | Photo Credit: File photo

Bengaluru North Lok Sabha constituency has not only elected a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate consistently since 2004, but also an ‘outsider’ to Bengaluru, leading to  heartburn within the party. 

The constituency elected H. T. Sangliana from Mizoram in 2004, D. B. Chandre Gowda from Chikkamagaluru district in 2009, D. V. Sadananda Gowda from Dakshina Kannada district in 2014 and 2019, and this time Shobha Karandlaje, also from Dakshina Kannada, is in the fray from the BJP.

After the constituency was re-drawn in 2008, it came to be known as a Vokkaliga stronghold. Since then, the BJP has nominated Vokkaliga candidates. 

This time, Ms. Karandlaje and C. T. Ravi from Chikkamagaluru district were lobbying hard for the party’s ticket from Bengaluru North, The party’s local Vokkaliga leaders tried resisting the entry of ‘outsiders’ in this election.

“We tried to argue for a local candidate. The options were Saptagiri Gowda, who came very close to defeating Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao in Gandhinagar Assembly seat, Yelahanka MLA S. R. Vishwanath’s son Alok Vishwanath, Thammesh Gowda, who contested against Krishna Byre Gowda in Byatarayanapura in the 2023 Assembly polls. But the high command has again chosen a Vokkaliga from coastal Karnataka,” a senior BJP leader from Bengaluru said. 

“Given that Bengaluru North is considered a safe seat for the party and ‘outsiders’ have won with big margins, the high command feels this is a constituency where the party can experiment. For instance, D. V. Sadananda Gowda’s vote share crossed 50% against local Vokkaliga candidates fielded by the Congress in 2014 and 2019,” the leader added. 

‘Everyone an outsider and a local in Bengaluru’

Other BJP leaders defended the candidature arguing that everybody is an ‘outsider’ in a city like Bengaluru, even as the same person can become a ‘local’ as well.

“For instance, Ms. Karandlaje was an MLA from Yeshwantpur, which is part of Bengaluru North constituency, during 2008-2013. Mr. Byre Gowda, who was elected from Byatarayanapura multiple terms, was nominated for the Lok Sabha seat by the Congress in 2019. He is from Chikkaballapura district, and was elected twice from Vemagal Assembly constituency before shifting to Byatarayanapura,” a senior BJP  leader said.

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