Siddaramaiah, Yeddyurappa face test of mettle in by-polls
Bangalore: Political tenacity of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and BJP national Vice-President B S Yeddyurappa will be on test in tomorrow`s by-elections to three Assembly seats in Karnataka in the first electoral showdown after the Lok Sabha polls.
Siddaramaiah is under more pressure to show results as Congress had failed to replicate the 2013 Assembly poll success in Lok Sabha elections which saw a resurgent BJP walk to glory drawn by the Modi wave.
Struggling to revive itself after losing its first ever government in the South in Karnataka, BJP saw a turnaround in its fortunes in Lok Sabha polls winning 17 of the 28 seats, leaving nine to Congress which had high hopes of doing well. JDS of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda had won two seats.
For Yeddyurappa too, it is a high-stake battle as his son B Y Raghavendra is contesting from his fiefdom Shikaripura which he had represented before vacating it following his election to Lok Sabha from Shimoga.
Yeddyurappa had won seven times from Shikaripura since 1983 and lost once.
Recently made BJP National Vice-President, Yeddyurappa would be proving a political point about his command in the state if the party fares well in the by-polls.
Congress is not only trying to retain Chikkodi-Sadalga seat but also eyeing to wrest Shikaripura and Bellary Rural from BJP, which also has spared no efforts to retain its hold.
Siddaramaiah went all out campaigning vigorously for party`s success. An adverse outcome is bound to erode his position within the party where there are murmurs of discontent over his government`s functioning.
Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimappa had yesterday said the state administration was not living upto popular expectations and there was no difference between the present and previous BJP governments.
JDS, which is struggling to stop the snowballing discontent over the functioning of leadership of its supremo Gowda and his son and former Chief Minster H D Kumaraswamy, has not fielded any candidates.
Twenty two candidates are in the fray. Counting of votes will take place on August 25.
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