Karnataka bypoll: Hunsur bucks the trend, hands out defeat to BJP

Congress candidate H P Manjunath after casting his vote with his family members in Hunsur on Thursday.

Congress candidate H P Manjunath after casting his vote with his family members in Hunsur on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


Popularity of Cong. candidate H.P. Manjunath and absence of chemistry between BJP’s A.H. Vishwanath and the electorate are said to be the chief reasons for the defeat

Even as the BJP scored a thumping victory on Monday in most of the Karnataka Assembly constituencies where byelections were held on December 5, Hunsur Assembly constituency in Mysuru district has bucked the trend by handing out a humiliating defeat to its candidate A.H. Vishwanath.

The ruling BJP led by Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa won 12 constituencies, while the Congress managed to win two seats and the Janata Dal (Secular) drew a complete blank.

The popularity of Congress candidate H.P. Manjunath, who had represented the constituency twice earlier, along with the absence of chemistry between Mr. Vishwanath, who basically hails from KR Nagar, and the electorate in Hunsur are said to be among the chief reasons for the BJP’s defeat.

While Mr. Manjunath had endeared himself to the people of the constituency by taking up several pro-people works ranging from filling up dried-up tanks to constructing temples and laying roads among others, sections of the electorate resented Mr. Vishwanath for shifting loyalties to the BJP from the JD (S), which had not only fielded him as its candidate in the May 2018 elections, but also elevated him to the post of party’s State unit president.

The Vokkaliga community, which prides over the JD (S) leadership, is believed to have not taken kindly to Mr. Vishwanath’s role in bringing down the coalition government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy, and thrown in its lot with the JD (S) and the Congress.

Several BJP leaders, including BJP MP V.Srinivas Prasad and former Ministers C.P. Yogeshwar and C.H. Vijayshankar, were prevented from campaigning in a few villages. The BJP leaders were asked by some of the villagers to bring Mr. Vishwanath with them as they wished to ask him why he had not bothered to visit them after his election in May 2018.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 1:41:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-bypoll-hunsur-bucks-the-trend-hands-out-defeat-to-bjp/article30249331.ece

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