‘Weak’ candidate helped Ramesh Jigajinagi win

Ramesh Jigajinagi.

Ramesh Jigajinagi.  

The victory of Ramesh Jigajinagi, the BJP candidate in Lok Sabha polls, has been attributed to the unprecedented popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, many analysts believe that the presence of a ‘weak’ candidate against Mr. Jigajinagi helped him win by a margin of over 2.5 lakh votes.

Sunita Chavan, wife of JD(S) MLA, Devanand Chavan, the JD(S) candidate supported by the Congress was treated as a ‘weak’ candidate pitched against the BJP as a coalition candidate. The reason behind her being called ‘weak’ is that she had not contested any election in the past.

The presence of a ‘weak’ candidate against a political stalwart like Mr. Jijajinagi, who has been in politics for around four decades and has already been MP five times, gave the BJP a psychological advantage.

Another factor believed to have gone against the coalition candidate, is the discontent within the Congress after the JD(S) took away the seat under seat sharing agreement. The Congress was intensely hoping to retain the seat as the party in the last two Lok Sabha elections lost by a margin of around 60,000 votes while the JD(S) candidate failed to secure even these many votes.

The Congress was confident of defeating Mr. Jigajinagi this time by fielding former MLA Raju Algur who belongs to the Chalavadi sect of Dalits whose population is more than the Madiga sects of Dalits to which Mr. Jigajinagi belongs. The Chalavadi sect was disappointed in both elections as both times the Lambani community got ticket from the Congress. They were hoping that at least this time a person from their community would get a Congress ticket.

With these factors playing a critical role, the decision of the JD(S) to take away the seat from the Congress proved to be costly to the coalition partners. Many Congress leaders who were upset with the decision, reportedly did not campaign for the coalition candidate. “If the Congress had retained the seat, we would have won, at least we would not have lost by this huge a margin, but the presence of a JD(S) candidate led to the defeat of coalition candidate miserably,” said a senior functionary of the Congress.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 9:09:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/weak-candidate-helped-ramesh-jigajinagi-win/article27249967.ece

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