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Battleground Shivajinagar: Outcome Of Bypoll Election Will Depend On These Factors

Shivajinagar is one among the 15 constituencies that will be going to polls on December 5. The seat fell vacant after the disqualification of R Roshan Baig, who had tendered his resignation from the legislative assembly. While the Congress looks forward to retaining its bastion, the BJP is desperate to end its losing streak.

Shivajinagar is considered a prestige battle as Vidhana Soudha, the state’s legislature seat falls under this constituency. With less than two weeks for the polling day, all parties have upped their ante to garner maximum support and make a determined effort to increase their vote tally. As the battle for the big day intensifies, here’s a list of crucial factors which can influence the outcome and hold a defining impact on the result.

Internal Rift Within Congress

Congress’ candidate Rizwan Arshad, perceived as a Siddaramiah loyalist, is reportedly facing stiff resistance from local leaders and BBMP councillors. Rizwan, who had contested the parliamentary elections in 2014 and ’19 unsuccessfully and is a sitting MLC, is viewed as an outsider by local leadership. Congress councillors belonging to Jayamahal and Ramaswamy Palya wards are apparently aggrieved with Rizwan’s candidature. BR Naidu, who was twice Congress’ candidate for Vasanthnagar ward and holds influence over the powerful Naidu community, is also reported to be strongly dissatisfied with the party’s pick. However, Rizwan is touted to be a strong challenger owing to a large number of traditional Congress supporters and sympathizers in the constituency.

IMA Scam

The infamous multi-crore IMA scam that has rocked the entire state is deeply associated with Shivajinagar and can prove to be a game-changer. With more than 40,000 investors finding themselves duped and a large number of them belonging to Shivajinagar, the investors are keen to elect a person who can address their demands immediately. Disqualified MLA Roshan Baig’s name had surfaced in an audio message allegedly put up by IMA MD Mansoor Khan who is currently in police custody. A section of investors are reluctant to choose any candidate and are endorsing NOTA as their option. All of them are of the opinion that any candidate who promises to raise their cause and ensure their hard-earned money is returned as soon as possible will be voted for.

Division of Minority Votes

The Janata Dal (Secular) and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) have entered the battle and put up Muslim candidates playing spoilsport in Congress’ game. The candidature of JDS’ Tanveer Ahmed Ullah and SDPI’s Abdul Hannan is expected to create a sharp split in minority votes tendering huge losses to Rizwan’s tally. While Abdul Hannan’s promise of better governance and amenities is attracting voters, Tanveer’s educated and clean personality is drawing immense support from masses. The people of Shivajinagar are desperate for a change and both of them have emerged as decent alternatives. Both candidates have been in constant interaction with voters and had started campaigning weeks prior to the election.

The Tamil Factor

Tamilians, who form a predominant part of the population in Shivajinagar, are going to play a principal role in deciding the winner. BJP’s candidate M Saravana being a Tamil is expected to draw huge swing of votes in his favour. A local and former councillor himself, the BJP has pinned their hopes on Saravana to end Congress’ era in Shivajinagar. The BJP has also deployed incumbent BBMP Mayor M Goutham Kumar to woo voters from the Jain community who form a sizable group in the area.

Shivajinagar, home to diverse cultures, various religions and distinct traditions, is witnessing an epic battle for power. The legacy of this heritage epicentre has been tarnished with garbage woes, sanitation issues and poor infrastructure. As every other candidate professes to be a messiah, it is gripping to know who will have the last laugh.

The author is an engineering student and a political analyst.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Cognate and The Cognate does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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