The Bihar election results may dominate Indian politics on Tuesday, but Karnataka will keenly look for the results of bypolls in the two assembly seats of Sira in Tumakuru district and Rajarajeshwarinagar in Bengaluru.
All of Karnataka’s three main political parties – the ruling BJP, the Congress, and the Janata Dal Secular – had fielded candidates for the two assembly seats.
In terms of numbers, the results of RR Nagar and Sira will make little difference to the stability of the Karnataka government, given the numbers of the BJP in the House. However, perception and prestige are part of politics, and all the parties have campaigned vigorously for these two seats.
All state leaders campaigned on the ground, often with little regard for COVID-19 social distancing norms.
Speaking to NDTV, Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Ashwath Narayan said, “We are 100%, 1,000% sure we are going to win the election in Sira and Rajarajeshwarinagar, as well as four legislative council elections.”
The Congress is equally certain of victory. State party president, DK Shivakumar, said, “The Congress party has done its best. We are confident that both seats we are going to win. MLC Seats – out of four, three we may win.”
Kusuma H, the late IAS officer DK Ravi’s widow, is the Congress’s candidate in Rajarajeshwarinagar, while that of the JDS is V Krishnamurthy. The BJP has fielded former MLA N Munirathna.
In Sira, the Congress has fielded former minister TB Jayachandra against the BJP’s CM Rajesh Gowda and the JDS’s Ammajamma.
The bypoll in Sira was necessitated following the death of JDS legislator B Sathyanarayana in August this year, while the RR Nagar seat fell vacant following the disqualification of then Congress MLA N Munirathna under the anti-defection law last year.