Karnataka

Dhruvanarayan’s ‘pro-development’ image fails to stir voters

R. Dhruvanarayan.

R. Dhruvanarayan.   | Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

Though he got leads in Congress-ruled Assembly constituencies, they proved insufficient for him to emerge victorious for the third straight term

Having won the 2014 election hands-down with a huge margin of over 1.41 lakh votes, R. Dhruvanarayan of the Congress, who lost the 2019 battle against BJP’s V. Srinivas Prasad, might not have thought he would miss the hat trick by a whisker. His defeat has shocked many Congress leaders and some non-Congress leaders who were confident of his winning based on his ‘pro-development’ image.

Mr. Prasad secured 5,68,537 votes while Mr. Dhruvanarayan polled 5,66,720.

17th round

Till the 17th round, Mr. Dhruvanarayan was leading and was almost certain of a third term. In the end, the seasoned politician drubbed the two-time MP, helping the lotus bloom for the first time in the border district.

Surprisingly, Mr. Prasad got more votes than Mr. Dhruvanarayan in the Congress-ruled Chamarajanagar Assembly constituency. Mr. Dhruvanarayana got more votes than Mr. Prasad in Varuna, H.D. Kote and Hanur, which have Congress MLAs. In Chamarajanagar, Mr. Dhruvanarayan managed to get 66,418 votes while Mr. Prasad secured 76,099 votes despite Minister for Backward Classes Puttaranga Shetty representing the Chamarajanagar constituency for three terms. Being the coalition candidate, he got leads in T. Narsipur constituency, which is represented by the JD(S) MLA.

In the BJP-ruled constituencies of Gundlupet and Nanjangud, Mr. Prasad got substantial leads, but both of them were on par at Kollegal, a BSP stronghold. Lingayat votes proved decisive for the BJP in Gundlupet and Nanjangud constituencies, thanks to the clout State BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa, a Lingayat strongman, wields in this belt.

Mr. Dhruvanarayan, a non-controversial and amiable politician, did not garner votes on the expected lines in the four Congress-ruled constituencies which hit his prospects.

How BSP fared

BSP candidate Shivakumar garnering 87,631 votes upset the Congress’s apple-cart. BSP has proved it could emerge as a force to reckon with in the years ahead.

It polled a sizeable vote in H.D. Kote, which is represented by the Congress MLA, and of course in Kollegal, where the party has its lone MLA Mahesh. BSP polled 13,811 votes in H.D. Kote and 13,697 votes in Kollegal.

Out of 12,68,173 votes polled, there were 12,716 NOTA votes. Among the postal ballots, Mr. Prasad got 1,527 votes while Congress secured 966 votes and BSP 423. The saffron surgetook away the incumbent’s popularity as the political heavyweight wrested the seat by a margin of 1,817 votes.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 3:47:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/dhruvanarayans-pro-development-image-fails-to-stir-voters/article27249941.ece

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