Nalin Kateel, Tejasvi Surya, Pratap Simha — BJP takes a hit in firebrand Hindutva MPs’ constituencies

New Delhi: In Karnataka, three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs – state BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel from Dakshina Kannada, Prathap Simha from Mysore and Tejasvi Surya from Bengaluru South – are considered Hindutva firebrands.

During the campaign ahead of the assembly elections in Karnataka on May 10, the three leaders were at the forefront as the BJP employed a polarizing strategy, often targeting Tipu Sultan, raising issues such as hijab and halal and eliminating had been 4 percent reservation Quota for Muslims in the state.

As the BJP changed its strategy closer to the election and tried to downplay Hindutva and focus on caste-centric electoral politics, it dropped Simha and Surya from the list of 40 star campaigners.

The BJP reverted to Hindutva in the final stages of the campaign, but these firebrands of Hindutva were largely confined to their respective Lok Sabha constituencies. The election results that came on Saturday have put their electoral base to the test.

The constituencies of Kateel, Surya and Simha saw a decrease in the party’s performance as compared to 2018. In Kateel’s Lok Sabha constituency of Dakshina Kannada, a BJP bastion, the party won six of the eight assembly seats, one less than in the 2018 elections. In Surya (Bangalore South) and Simha (Mysore) constituencies, the party won four and one seats in each, respectively, out of a total of eight.

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Nalin Kateel

Nalin Kumar Kateel’s Dakshina Kannada has been the center of Hindutva politics. The coastal district has elected Kateel thrice to the Lok Sabha since 2009.

In 2018, the party had won seven of the eight assembly seats in this Lok Sabha constituency. Then it only missed out on the Mangalore seat, which has been held by the Congress since 2008.

Kateel made headlines in January this year when he said that this election was not about “small issues” like roads and sewage but about “love jihad”.

In a video from a public meeting in Mangalore, Nalin said, “So I am asking you guys, don’t talk about small issues like roads and sewage. If you are concerned about the future of your children, and if you want to stop love jihad, then we need the Bharatiya Janata Party. We need Bharatiya Janata Party to end Love Jihad.

Addressing another rally in February, the state BJP chief had said, “This time the state assembly elections will not be fought between the Congress and the BJP, but between the ideologies of Savarkar and Tipu.”

stunning sun

Of the total eight assembly seats in Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency of 32-year-old Tejashwi Surya, four have gone to the BJP and four to the Congress. In 2018, the BJP had won five of the eight seats.

Ahead of the May 10 election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also campaigned extensively in the country’s IT capital, which has been a BJP bastion.

Surya, the national president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, had contested from the Bangalore South seat in 2019 following the death of former BJP minister Ananth Kumar. This was his first state election after becoming an MP. Since then, Surya has been a star campaigner for the BJP in various elections.

Whereas, BJP’s LA Ravi Subramanya (Basavanagudi), Satheesh ReddyBommanahalli, and R Ashok (Padmanaba Nagar) – all of whom fall in the Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency – have held their seats since 2008. and won.

Pratap Simha

In 46-year-old Pratap Simha’s Mysore in southern Karnataka, the BJP won only Krishnaraja, one of the eight assembly constituencies in his Lok Sabha seat. Of these, the party had won four seats in the 2018 assembly elections.

The Vokkaliga-dominated Mysore region has been a stronghold of the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress, but the BJP was trying to gain a foothold here.

In southern Karnataka, Pratap Simha’s constituency is spread over the two districts of Mysore and Kodagu. Two BJP MLAs in Kodagu – Appachu Ranjan and KG Bopaiah – have already won their seats in Madikeri and Virajpet since 2008, before Simha became an MP.

(Editing by Richa Mishra)

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