Bengaluru: Bengaluru South Assembly constituency has the privilege of being the largest among the 224 Assembly constituencies in the state. The reason: It has around 5 lakh voters with eight Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) wards and five Zilla Panchayats and 10 gram panchayats.
If the number of votes polled by the present incumbent M. Krishnappa of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are any indication, the Bengaluru South Assembly constituency will remain as the strong bastion of BJP. M. Krishnappa, the brother of former MLA M. Srinivas, got elected to the State Assembly in 2008 as a BJP candidate. Krishnappa defeated Congress candidate Sadananda M by a margin of 34,135 in 2008. Krishnappa polled 71,114 votes while Sadananda got 36,979 votes.
In 2013, Krishnappa romped home again by defeating his nearest rival R. Prabhakar Reddy of Janata Dal (Secular) by a margin of 30,162 votes. Krishnappa got 1,02,207 votes and Prabhakar Reddy, a real estate developer in Anekal and other areas, got 72,045 votes, while Congress candidate Tejaswini Gowda was relegated to third place by polling 83,849 votes. Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) candidate Jagadish Reddy got only 3,936 votes while the remaining candidates, including BSRCP candidate, have lost deposit in the election.
“The USP of BJP candidate is vast experience in politics. Krishnappa played a key role when his brother M Srinivas contested from Raja Rajeswarinagar. He knows how to work during election campaign and get votes,’’ said Keshava Rao, a resident of Uttarahalli.
Among the eight BBMP wards, seven are represented by BJP corporators while Congress has managed to win from only one ward in Bengaluru South Assembly constituency. BJP candidates got elected to the BBMP Council from wards such as Uttarahalli, Yelachanahalli, Singasandra, Begur, Gottigere, Konanakunte, and Anjanapura. Congress candidate Shobha Gowda got elected to the BBMP Council from Vasanthapura ward.
There are industrial areas (including Jigani), the Bannerghata forest, neighbourhoods with high-rise apartments as well as smaller villages that got merged with Bruhat Bengaluru MahanagaraPalike.
There are some rumours making rounds in Bengaluru South Assembly constituency on BJP giving preference to Varaprasada Reddy who had joined the BJP in August.Varaprasad Reddy is considered as the close aide of Energy Minsiter D.K. Shivakumar. It may be recalled that BJP had launched a campaign seeking Shivakumar’s resignation in view of the I-T raids on his residence and offices. The rumour is that M. Krishnappa is not happy with the BJP leadership for admitting Varaprasad Reddy into the BJP. It is said that Krishnappa, who is considered as a staunch supporter of former deputy chief minister R. Ashok, has stopped visiting BJP state office at Malleswaram after Varaprasad Reddy joined the BJP. Reddy had contested to the BBMP Council from Uttarahalli ward but got defeated by the BJP candidate Hanumanthaiah in 2015.
However, V. Balakrishna, corporator, Yelachanahalli ward, said BJP would give ticket to Krishnappa only and not Varaprasad Reddy to contest from Bengaluru South Assembly constituency. “Reddy may contest from one of the constituencies of Karnataka-Andhra border. He was with BJP and joined Congress and again returned to the BJP. He got 12,000 votes as a Congress candidate when contested to the BBMP Council from Uttarahalli ward. His rejoining BJP will certainly help the present MLA Krishnappa to win the election scheduled for April or May in 2018,’’ Balakrishna said.
If the mood of the BJP activists and popularity of the present incumbent are anything to go by, it seems Krishnappa will achieve a hat-trick by winning the next Assembly election from this constituency.