SHIVAMOGGA: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has pulled out all the stops to wrest this seat and catapult late chief minister S Bangarappa’s son Madhu Bangarappa into national politics. But whether this will see the Bangarappa self-proclaimed heir racing ahead of the former chief minister and state BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa’s son B.Y. Raghavendra in this Lok Sabha seat is being hotly debated as exit polls point to the BJP holding on to the seat, albeit by a wafer-thin margin.

Mr Yeddyurappa, already facing flak from central leaders for the fiasco in Ramanagara, where the party’s candidate L Chandrashekar jumped ship and returned to Congress two days before polling, could well be in deep trouble if Mr Kumaraswamy does succeed in uniting the Idigas and other backward classes and minorities.

Unlike in the past, BSY’s colleagues in the state unit have not fully backed him in these bypolls; some like V S Somanna even struck discordant notes supporting former minister B Sreeramulu for the post of CM, much to his chagrin. The upshot: the former chief minister was forced to spend more time in his home district to counter the impact of Mr Kumaraswamy’s efforts to wrest the seat from his party which he felt, spelt trouble for his son’s political career.

During his campaign to drum up support for Mr Madhu Bangarappa, HDK tried to whip up sympathy and recounted the contributions of the late chief minister for the district. He also asked the voters to back his party’s nominee as he belonged to the coalition and would be able to usher in development swiftly as compared with the candidate of Opposition BJP.

Besides Mr Kumaraswamy, senior Congress leaders too addressed joint rallies saying the late chief minister served the Congress for more than two decades, representing Soraba Assembly constituency for more than 25 years.

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