Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha constituency: BJP banking on Modi factor and Hindu vote consolidation, Congress on anti-incumbency and minority votes

The Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha constituency houses both the IT corridor and some of the areas densely populated with urban poor and crumbling civic infrastructure

Updated - April 22, 2024 01:36 pm IST

Published - April 22, 2024 02:46 am IST - Bengaluru

P.C. Mohan, BJP candidate for Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha constituency.

P.C. Mohan, BJP candidate for Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha constituency.

The Bengaluru Central Lok Sabha constituency houses both the IT corridor and some of the areas densely populated with urban poor and crumbling civic infrastructure. However, the ongoing Lok Sabha polls seem to be dominated by the “Modi factor” and the “Congress’ guarantees”. 

Incumbent MP from the BJP P.C. Mohan, who faces stiff anti-incumbency and accusation that he has been “inaccessible”, is hoping the “Modi factor” and “Hindutva” will see him through again. Mr. Mohan has served as MP for three consecutive terms. Mr. Mohan, who has never lost the seat since it was carved out in 2008, is campaigning on the development plank, claiming credit for the party for the Namma Metro and the suburban rail among others.

On the other hand, the Congress candidate Mansoor Ali Khan is banking on the “guarantee schemes” and the considerable number of minority votes in the constituency. The Congress has won five out of eight Assembly seats, which it hopes will provide it some leverage. 

In a constituency with significant votes from the minority communities, both Muslims and Christians, the Congress has always fielded a Muslim candidate. In fact, Mr. Khan is the only Muslim candidate in the fray from any mainstream party in the State. However, a section within the Congress had argued for a Hindu candidate to prevent “consolidation of the Hindu vote bank”. But the party went ahead and fielded a Muslim candidate as they had not given anyone from the community a ticket anywhere else in the State. 

Congress candidate for Bengaluru Central constituency, Mansoor Ali Khan 

Congress candidate for Bengaluru Central constituency, Mansoor Ali Khan 

The choice of a candidate belonging to the minority community by the Congress would galvanise Hindu votes, say the BJP leaders. A BJP leader said statements of Chamrajapet MLA B.Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan do not go down well with the majority community and the party is making an all-out effort to consolidate Hindu votes, especially Mahadevapura, Rajajinagar, C.V. Raman Nagar, and Gandhi Nagar.

On the ground, the views are varied. Kumar, an auto driver in Shanthinagar, said Mr. Mohan has been inaccessible. “He  disappears after winning polls and reappears again during the election to seek votes. People continue to vote for him to see Narendra Modi as Prime Minister,” he said.

Rajaji Nagar BJP MLA S. Suresh Kumar said C.V. Raman Nagar, Rajaji Nagar and Mahadevapura will protect the BJP giving them a good lead. Especially in Mahadevapura, the BJP has its vote base, he said. “We are showing the people landmark decisions and development undertaken by Mr. Modi to seek votes. The guarantee schemes will have some impact among the voters, but it is not enough for the Congress to pull a victory,” he said. 

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