Bengaluru: Continuing with the idea of fielding a candidate from two constituencies to pack a punch against tall leaders of Congress in Karnataka polls, the BJP has fielded, not one but two candidates, V Somanna and R Ashoka from Varuna and Kanakapura against Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar, apart from Chamrajnagar and Padmanabhanagar, this election.
The BJP first implemented this idea in the 2018 assembly election when it fielded B Sriramulu from two constituencies- Mokalmuru in Chitradurga district and Badami in Bagalkot district.
This move by the BJP was to target Siddaramaiah who contested from Badami, apart from Chamundeshwari.
The senior Congress leader lost to JDS candidate GT Deve Gowda, but won Badami by a very thin margin.
This election, the BJP is very much confident of defeating Siddaramaiah in Varuna. Party’s Karnataka incharge Arun Singh on Tuesday categorically told that Siddaramaiah will be definitely defeated this time from Varuna.
BJP’s objective behind fielding a candidate from two constituencies is to keep the big Congress leaders confined to their constituencies and cripple their statewide campaign.
Somanna and Ashoka are very strong leaders in their own rights as they belong to Veerashaiva-Lingayat and Vokkaliga communities. BJP is using Somanna’s experience of working with Siddaramaiah in his early political career.
Somanna, a Lingayat leader, had campaigned for Siddaramaiah during the Chamundeshwari bypolls when they were in the same party, and had worked with him as cabinet colleagues. He also knows Varuna constituency at the back of his hands.
The BJP is eyeing to win the votes of around 70,000 Lingayats who are BJP loyalists. Likewise, BJP wants to capitalise on Ashoka, who is a Vokkaliga leader, against Shivakumar in Kanakapura.
BJP believes that by fielding two strong candidates in the Old Mysuru will bolster its ranks and improve the party’s performance in the region.