New Delhi: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had the best strike rate in the Karnataka assembly elections, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning 5 of the 11 seats where he campaigned for the party’s candidates.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as the BJP’s biggest vote-catcher in the past decade, three of the party’s remaining 39 star campaigners in Karnataka – Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and their counterparts in Assam , Himanta Biswa Sarma – Attracted the attention of many people with his aggressive election campaign.
Between 24 April and 7 May, Shah addressed 23 rallies or public meetings across the state, as well as nine roadshows. Sarma held 11 rallies or public meetings within a week and Adityanath held nine between April 26 and May 6.
The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh started his campaign from Mandya to woo the Vokkaliga community. The Gorakhnath Temple – of which he is Mahant – and the Adichunchanagiri Math in Mandya have massive followings among Vokkaligas. and is revered by the followers of nath panth tradition,
Among the three, Sarma had the highest strike rate of 45 per cent as the BJP won five of the 11 constituencies in which he campaigned for the party. Meanwhile, Amit Shah’s strike rate was 34 per cent while Yogi’s was 44 per cent.
Adityanath addressed rallies in the districts Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Vijayapura, Chikkamagaluru, Koppal, Raichur and Kalaburagi.
In Chikkamagaluru, where Adityanath addressed a rally, four-time MLA from the seat BJP national general secretary CT Ravi lost 5,926 Vote, while in Raichur, BJP’s Dr. Shivraj Patil won 3,732 Defeated Mohd Shalam of INC by votes.
In Kalaburagi district, the Congress won two seats (Gulbarga North and Gulbarga South) and Gulbarga Rural was won by the BJP. Adityanath had addressed a rally in the district, and it was here that Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said that the UP chief minister’s “bulldozer” would come for the common people in the constituency if they did not vote for the Congress.
Read also: SC objects to Shah’s Karnataka ‘Muslim quota’ speech: ‘Why make such statements about a sub-judice matter?’
Shah and Sarma’s success rate
Shah addressed public meetings and rallies in key constituencies including Hubballi, Gundlupet, Udupi and Navalgund, and held roadshows in Belagavi South, Mangaluru, Belagavi North, BTM Layout and Belagavi. Yadgir,
He also campaigned in Varuna assembly constituency, where former chief minister Siddaramaiah and BJP’s V. Somanna were pitted against each other in a high-stakes fight. Siddaramaiah defeated Somanna by a margin of 46,163 votes.
In Hubli, another high-stakes seat where Shah campaigned, former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar contested on a Congress ticket after being denied a ticket by the BJP.
The denial of ticket to Shettar did not cost the party much as BJP’s Mahesh Tenginakai won the seat by 34,289 votes.
Sarma addressed 11 public meetings including Koramangala, Byattarayanapura, Malleswaram, Arsikere, Ujire (Belthangadi), Madikeri, Gonikoppal (Virajpet), Kapu, Mulki (Moodbidri) and Lalbagh (Mangalore City North).
Of these, the BJP won Belthagandi (margin: 18,216 votes), Malleswaram (margin: 41,302 votes), Kapu (margin: 13,004 votes), Moodbidri (margin: 22,468 votes) and Mangalore City North (margin: 32,922 votes).
In a rally in Virajpet seat in Kodagu district, where Sarma raised the Tipu Sultan issue, BJP’s KG Bopaiah lost by 4,291 votes.
Sarma had said at the rally that state Congress chief DK Shivakumar was a family member of Tipu Sultan and Karnataka would turn into ‘PFI’ – the banned outfit Popular Front of India – if the Congress came to power in the state.
(Editing by Amritansh Arora)
Read also: Relying on Hindutva, failing on development: Coastal Karnataka is with BJP despite half-baked promises